Outdoor Workers

Although the Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations only apply to indoor workplaces, that does not mean that employers do not also have a duty to employers working outside, such as construction or agricultural workers.

All employers have a general duty to protect the health and safety of the workforce under the Health and Safety at Work Act, and also to assess and control risks from working in hot temperatures, or exposure to the sun, under the Management of Health & Safety at Work regulations. This includes drivers, where working in a very hot cab can make the person more likely to have an accident.

Employers of outside workers should consider how working in hot weather can be done by organising work differently to ensure employees are not working outside during the hottest part of the day, or by providing shade. Employers should also have to provide outside workers with good advice on protecting exposed skin, contributing to the purchase of sun protection creams and drinking water during the summer.

Keeping up to date with industry innovation is also key to protecting the workforce during hot weather, new and technology advanced solutions are released to market on a regular basis and can bring another dimension to employee comfort when working in any hot environment.  For example, Personal Cooling vests.