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Is it too hot to work in Wakefield today? Your rights on going home explained

Too hot to work?
Too hot to work?

Wakefield is set to sizzle today as temperatures reach 23C but does it ever get too hot to be sent home from work?

The Met Office has forecast that the mercury will reach highs of 23C at around 3pm today and its only going to be slightly cooler on Friday.

Although the mini heatwave won’t last for too long, it could get a bit uncomfortable at your office - but what are your rights if it gets too hot?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a legally defined maximum temperature for the workplace but the Heath and Safety Executive has issued a number of guidelines.

They have said that, during working hours, the temperature in all indoor workplaces must be reasonable.

The temperature should be at 13C if employees are doing physical work but there is no maximum temperature given due to high temperatures of working in some places, for example a glass works or foundry.

While ‘reasonable’ is rather ambiguous, the law does say that an employer must act if a ‘significant number of employees are complaining about thermal discomfort’.

If this is the case then your employer should carry out a risk assessment.

There are six basic factors an employee should look at including air temperature, radiant temperature (ie, the temperature radiating from warm objects), air velocity, humidity, and what clothing or insulation workers are expected to wear.

A HSE spokesperson said: “As an employer you should be aware of these risks and make sure the underlying reasons for these unsafe behaviours are understood and actively discouraged and/or prevented. “The more physical work we do, the more heat we produce. The more heat we produce, the more heat needs to be lost so we don’t overheat. The impact of metabolic rate on thermal comfort is critical.”