Friday, February 06, 2009

Petition to set a maximum temperature at the workplace

Last night I posted on the TUC model Policy on “Bad Weather”. So it is only fitting that I now post on the not so topical but very important campaign by the TUC and UNISON for the introduction of a maximum legal temperature for workers.

There was apparently some discussion about this issue at the “Warwick” discussions last year. Many unions are supporting this No. 10 petition on this same issue (see below).

Around 8 years ago I called in and managed to persuade a HSE officer to serve an improvement notice on my employer over excessive temperatures and ventilation in a new office building. The conditions were really horrible. The building had originally been designed to be cooled with A/C. But they ran out of money and built it without the A/C (with none opening windows etc). After the notice they did retrofit A/C at a huge cost. A number of members did sue afterwards for “sick building syndrome”. There was a settlement before it came to court.

If we had a “maximum temperature” they would have had to build the place with A/C and saved themselves money and our members becoming sick. Health & Safety is all about being proactive rather than reactive. Let’s also have a bit of "joined up thinking"?

This is from the “further details” section of the petition which was set up by Robert Edmunds of the Welsh Assembly government (branch?) Robert Edmunds. To sign please click here.

The Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations 1992 requires the temperature in workroom to be at least 16 degrees Celsius unless much of the work involves severe physical effort in which case the temperature should be at least 13 degrees Celsius.

This is all well and good when it is cold during the winter months, however it is now June and I am currently working in an office which reaches 94 degrees Fahrenheit on a daily basis and nothing is being done to ease the suffering incurred by myself and my colleagues.

We have written countless letters to the Welsh Assembly Government over the last six years, informing them of our discomfort, but just been given one excuse after another.

Warm temperatures in offices make people very ill, especially if they suffer from claustrophobia or asthma. I wonder how the Welsh Assembly Government would feel if one or more of its employees fainted from heat exhaustion and injured themselves. It would cost more to pay a compensation claim than to purchase a simple air conditioning unit.

Please support this worthy cause. Again, click here and sign – it takes less than 5 minutes. Just remember how really horrible your workplace can be in very hot weather.


Anonymous said...

Hi John. Great blog just signed it.

Anonymous said...

Local Government workers are always sick. Its part of the job description having 4- 6 weeks off a year.

Anonymous said...

I see you have the total halfwit constructive comment merchants on as usual! Local Government workers now have tight sickness targets to meet or face dismissal you out of touch moron!

Marko Noth-West

Anonymous said...

strange as the average is 7

Anonymous said...

Seven weeks off - what a joke