Slingsby plays it cool for workers

It might be an erratic summer, but workers still appreciate cooling products to be installed in workplaces for days when it is baking hot in the office.

Workplace equipment supplier Slingsby said it has seen sales of cooling products increase year-on-year, as growing numbers of firms have become aware of the effects that temperatures can have on the workforce.

Marketing director Lee Wright said: "Working in high temperatures can result in a loss of concentration, irritability, tiredness and discomfort. It also increases the risk of accidents and can cause fatigue, heat stress and, ultimately, heat stroke.

"The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations state that temperatures in the workplace should not fall below 16°C, or 13°C where the work involves a lot of physical effort. But there is no maximum limit. Instead, it calls on employers to maintain a reasonable temperature."

Slinsgby's catalogue includes mobile or wall-mounted air conditioning units, drum fans and climate checkers.

Wright added: "Under the TUC's proposals, employers would have to take action to ensure the temperature does not exceed 24°C and there should be an absolute maximum temperature of 30°C, or 27°C for those with strenuous jobs, when work has to stop and employers become liable for prosecution. Where the temperature cannot be reduced through air conditioning or fans, there are plans to increase breaks or introduce job rotation."