Can it ever get 'too cold' to work?

Can it ever get 'too cold' to work?
This Is Why People Get More Colds And Flu In Winter

The Met Office has warned of icy conditions with overnight double-digit subzero temperatures in some of the UK – that could last for at least a week.

The weather forecasters have since extended Wednesday's yellow weather warning for a further two days, with ice expected in coastal and northern England. Snow and ice are expected in Scotland.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “We are in this pattern for seven days at least.

"We could see it continue for a while longer, there’s uncertainty in the evolution and how long it will last.

"However, the pattern for the next seven days is that it will remain cold and we will see double-digit minus figures overnight in areas that are prone to frosts and areas where there is lying snow."

While it's becoming increasingly difficult to part ways with warm beds, the weather warning has left many wondering if there are any rules against going to the office.

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Met Office/PA Graphics

Sadly, there are no laws for minimum or maximum working temperatures – whether hot or cold.

Jonathan White, Legal and Compliance Director at National Accident Helpline, says that if employees are doing physical work, there is a suggested minimum of 13 degrees and if in an office environment, 16.

Employers need to be extra vigilant around health and safety during this time and allow regular breaks and the chance for employees to grab a hot drink. It’s also their responsibility as employers to provide additional heating if it’s too cold.

The official GOV website advises that employers must stick to health and safety at work law, which includes:

  • keeping the temperature at a comfortable level
  • providing clean and fresh air

They also encourage employees to talk with their employer if their workplace temperature is uncomfortable.

White added: "Employers are expected to do whatever is ‘reasonably practicable’ to safeguard their workers’ wellbeing, and they must provide a safe environment where staff are not at risk of falling ill from the cold. The principle applies to all employees, even those working from home.

"This requires carrying out regular risk assessments and acting on the results."

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