UK: As the UK basks in a heat wave a group of MPs is calling for a maximum temperature of 30degC in the workplace.
Labour Party MP Linda Riordan has attracted the support of 27 MPs for an Early Day Motion to impose a maximum workplace temperature. A legal minimum workplace indoor temperature has been in place for many years but there is no legal maximum, so that in hot weather conditions can vary greatly from employer to employer.
Workplace Health and Safety regulations state that the temperature in workrooms should normally be at least 16degC (or 13degC if physically demanding work is being carried out) , there is no upper limit, only the stipulation that the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be 'reasonable'.
The group of MPs maintain that this guidance leaves considerable uncertainty as to the upper limit beyond which control measures must be in place and employees are often subjected to high temperatures which can impact seriously on their health and well-being.
They call for a maximum working workplace temperature of 30degC or 27degC for those doing strenuous work.
Unions have long fought for a maximum workplace temperature, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) passing a resolution in 2012 adopting a maximum working temperature as its official policy. In 2009, the TUC was calling for a maximum of 30degC with employers being forced to introduce cooling measures when the temperature hits 24degC. The teachers' union, the NUT, has previously called upon its members to walk out if the temperature rises above 26degC.