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Trade unions say action needed to protect UK workers in heatwave

2 min read

Trade union bosses have warned action must be taken to protect UK workers from intolerable working conditions as the heatwave continues. 

The TUC said workers faced health risks due to this year’s abnormally high temperatures.

A year-high for the UK of 35C was recorded at Heathrow, in west London, on Thursday.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “With heatwaves becoming more common, we need clear and sensible rules to protect working people.

“We’ve had legal minimum temperatures at work for a long time, which work very well.

“The government must now act quickly on the recommendation by MPs for maximum limits on how hot workplaces can get.”

The TUC is calling for a maximum legal temperature on indoor workplaces of 30C.

Unite’s national officer for construction, Jerry Swain, added: “There are concerns on two levels.

“One is those people out in the sun all day and, secondly, those who work inside in confined areas where heat can build up if there is a lack of circulation of cool air.

“We’ve had reports where nothing is being done and people are just expected to carry on working.

“Heat can make you lightheaded or dizzy and on a construction site, where you’ve got machinery, that’s a real risk.”

After some heavy thunder on Friday night, the hot weather looked set to continue into next week.

Figures published by the Environment Agency show the east of England experienced just 4% of its long-term rainfall average in July. 

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