Heatwave UK: What is the maximum temperature you are allowed to work in?

The Met Office has warned a hot spell will bring heatwave to England and Wales in the next few days. The forecaster warns “exceptionally high temperatures” will continue into next week. Met Office Chief Meteorologist, Dan Suri, said: “Although much of the UK can expect a spell of warm and sunny weather lasting into early next week, it’s going to turn very hot for parts of England and Wales with temperatures widely reaching above 30 Celsius on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“Met Office heatwave criteria will be reached over East Anglia and southeast England.

“Tomorrow (Friday) is likely to be the hottest day with temperatures of 36 to 37 Celsius in parts of east and southeast England.

“It’s possible temperatures could reach similar levels on Saturday, before falling slightly on Sunday.

“There’s also a small chance temperatures could reach close to 38 Celsius in one or two spots in the southeast on Friday, but this will partly depend on the chance of cloud spreading in from the southwest during the afternoon.”

Mr Suri added: “Along with hot weather by day, it will stay warm and humid overnight with temperatures remaining in the high teens and low 20s Celsius.”

There are concerns Friday’s heat could break all records previously recorded.

The current hottest August day on record is 38.5C, reached in Faversham on August 10, 2003.

The current record maximum temperature for the UK is 38.7C, reached in Cambridge Botanic Garden on July 25, 2019.

As a precaution, the Met Office has issued a heat health alert for parts of England.

What is the maximum temperature you are allowed to work in?

There’s no official guidance for a maximum temperature limit.

However, during working hours the temperature in all indoor workplaces must be reasonable.

Employers has a duty to stick to the health and safety at work law.

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This include:

  • keeping the temperature at a comfortable level
  • providing clean and fresh air

Ishani Kar-Purkayastha, Consultant in Public Health at Public Health England, said: “Many of us welcome warmer weather, but some people may find it more difficult to cope.

“People recovering from COVID-19 at home, those who are self-isolating, older people and people with underlying health conditions are all more vulnerable during hot weather.

“This summer, many of us are spending more time at home due to COVID-19.

“A lot of homes can overheat, so it’s important we continue to check on older people and those with underlying health conditions, particularly if they’re living alone and may be socially isolated.

“If you need to provide direct care to someone at risk from hot weather, follow government guidance on how to do this safely.

“The most important advice is to ensure they stay hydrated, keep cool and know how to keep their homes cool.”

How long will the heatwave last?

Commenting on how long the hot weather is expected to last, Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Chris Bulmer, said: “The hot airmass will remain over much of England and Wales until early next week, so we’ll continue to see maximum temperatures in the low to mid-30s Celsius as the heatwaves continues.

“It looks like the heatwave could break on Tuesday and Wednesday as the risk of thunderstorms increases for many areas, although at the moment it’s a bit too early to say for certain, so our advice is to keep up to date with Met Office forecasts day-by-day.”

Heatwaves are extreme weather events, but research shows climate change is making these events more likely.

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