After what seems like a long winter, we are all more than ready for a bit of sunshine!
National Sun Awareness Week is designed to highlight the dangers of over-exposure to the sun and promote safe behaviour. Sun-burn is very painful and can lead to staff sickness and absence. Anyone can suffer sun burn through watching or playing outdoor sport, gardening or just sitting in the park. In the short term, even mild reddening of the skin from sun exposure is a sign of damage. Too much sun speeds up ageing of the skin. Longer term, the most serious effect is an increased chance of developing skin cancer.
When it gets hot outside, productivity at work can often reduce whilst absence increases. Heat can make staff feel tired and less energetic. Tiredness can also lead to an increased risk of accidents.
What can you do to maintain a safe and productive working environment?
- Remind employees (and students if you are a school) about sun safety, the school holidays are coming up!
- Employers must provide a working environment which is, so far as reasonably practicable, safe, without risks to health, and which has adequate welfare facilities. There is no specified maximum temperature however there is a minimum temperature of 16°C (13°C if work involves considerable physical activity).
- Ensure employees are comfortable, maintain air conditioning, open window access and distribute additional fans. Consider re-rooming if required, where possible
- A message to staff about a relaxed dress code may help too, for example, ties and jackets can be removed.
- Hydration is important to maintain energy levels. Ensure employees have adequate access to water, encourage them to drink more and consider relaxing rules around when and where water is consumed if it is really hot.
If you need further help with employee well-being or absence management please get in touch. You can speak to one of the team on 01924 827869.