We associate warm weather with summer. Let’s face it, we’re all dreaming of our summer holidays. Our minds drift away from work and on to a beach somewhere, a cold drink to hand, maybe a book. Yet, the reality is we spend most of the summer under a roof at work and never think of how the weather affects our well-being while indoors. Our climate is getting warmer, so how should employers plan for summer under a roof? Here are a few tips on how they can prepare for the inevitable.
We all know that heat can slow us down. Our bodies use vital energy to produce sweat to keep us cool. Our lungs have to work harder to filter fresh air from the heat we’re inhaling. Even our cognitive abilities dive south. New evidence from Harvard University suggests that simple tasks like math become harder as our brains become dulled by the heat. Imagine the collective impact on production from a workforce affected, even slightly, by an increase in temperature. To avoid this, employers need to invest in air-conditioning. Don’t be fooled though, because they’re not all equal. Go for trusted brands like EOC Services, Peterborough air conditioning contractors. It’s money well spent, especially when factoring in lost production output. Employees may not notice the difference on some days, but you can bet they’ll be grateful when the temperature dial goes into the red. But, of course, it won’t, because their smart employer will have already installed an efficient and effective air conditioning system.
Nothing makes employees groan more than those special words ‘You’ve got training in the morning’. Yet, there was a time when accidents where rife and vital workdays were lost forever. Training changed that, despite its sometimes questionable reputation. Use training sessions to inform employees about the dangers of warm weather. Get them thinking about what temperature change means to them. Introduce good practices like easy access to freshwater and choosing appropriate clothing. It may not seem like the message is getting through, but employees will respond, even if they’re not aware of it. Small changes can make big differences. There’s plenty of help out there for employers. The Health and Safety Executive provides an excellent leaflet on how to manage Heat Stress in the Workplace. Download it for some great advice and guidance.
Risk assessments are nothing new for employers. Most are compulsory, but some are implemented because its good practice. A heat risk assessment is one such example. Employers should consider their employees work rate. Can it be altered while managing the impact on productivity? They should consider the working climate too. As I’ve said, Peterborough air conditioning supports safe working through effective temperature control. It’s not enough to simply have air conditioning, it has to be better than good. Think also about clothing. It may not be possible in some cases, but what about the others? Review employee health records as well. Some people are more at risk than others. Employers might consider moving some people into safer working environments.
Getting ready for warm weather can seem unnecessary to some and daunting for others. However, difficulties can be overcome with some forward planning. It’s not as if British workplace’s don’t have the experience or infrastructure already. Do some risk assessments. Develop and then deliver effective training to the right people. It will make summer better for everyone. Our memories will be of that beach, not puffing and sweating in an environment that could have been cooler and safer.