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When is it too cold to work outside ? Max and Min Temperatures?

When is it too cold to work outside? Are there maximum and minimum temperatures? Avinash BhunjunWednesday 28 Feb 2018 1:08 pm

 The Met Office has issued a red alert in certain parts of the country as the Beast from the East continues to cause chaos, travel disruption and school closures across the UK. The snow and tumultuous weather means that if your daily job consists of working outdoors, this could create extremely dangerous conditions for your health and well-being.

Your employer must take precautions to keep you from harm no matter what the weather. There are regulations employers should follow .The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states employers should ‘assess risks to health and safety and act where necessary (i.e. if the workplace temperature drops below the minimum guideline or if it is felt the temperature is too high).’

Ideally, when weather outside is extremely cold, the temperature gauge in your workplace should not fall below 16C and if the work involves rigorous physical effort, the temperature should be at least 13C, although this relates to indoor work. The employer has a ‘duty to determine what reasonable comfort will be in the particular circumstances’, according to Health and Safety Executive.

Employers must stick to health and safety at work including keeping the temperature at a comfortable level and providing clean and fresh air.

The regulations means employers have a responsibility to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their workers. Although there is no strict guide when it is too cold to work outside, and no laws on maximum or minimum temperatures, these regulations require employers to make a suitable assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees.

UK A risk assessment requires employers to make a suitable assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees as well as the possible impact of rain, snow and ice during low temperatures. When working in cold environments employers need to ensure that the there is protective equipment issued (according to The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992); provide mobile facilities for warming up; encourage the drinking of warm fluids such as soup or hot drinks; introduce more frequent rest breaks; or consider delaying the work.


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