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OxfordMonday 08 July 2019

Oxford Accident Solicitors urge workers to keep hydrated as summer temperatures soar.

Most of us relish warm summer days at the weekend or when we’re on holiday, but it’s a different story for people working from Monday to Friday in a hot environment. Workers in physical jobs or in hot and humid conditions can struggle to rehydrate during their shifts, leading to serious safety issues in the workplace as well as reduced productivity and morale.

Heat-related illnesses are a serious hazard on industrial work sites, especially those that are outdoors during summer months. Even in Britain temperatures can regularly reach 25-30 degrees – when they do, the need for workers to stay hydrated is a constant concern. In fact, employers are required by law to ensure workers have adequate access to safe drinking water.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 state that employers should meet certain requirements which include:

1. Providing an adequate supply of clean drinking water.

2. Making sure that this is readily accessible at suitable places and conspicuously marked by an appropriate sign.

The regulation also specifies that a sufficient number of suitable cups or other drinking vessels should be provided, unless the drinking water is from a jet which people can easily drink from.

When working hard or at a high rate in heat stress conditions employees should consume around 250 ml (half a pint) every 15 minutes. However, this approach may not be practical due to the nature of the task – for example, where personal protection equipment is worn that restricts the ability to drink.

In these circumstances, an alternative approach is to drink 500 ml of water per hour before work commences and employers can also encourage the drinking of 500 ml of water during rest periods.

It is also advised that workers take more frequent breaks under these high-temperature and stressful situations. Employers should provide necessary shade or cooling facilities on site, so workers are able to cool down before re-entering the work environment.

Your employer has a legal obligation to make sure you have access to clean drinking water. If you have suffered a workplace accident because of dehydration, please contact Oxford Accident Solicitors on 01865 315309 for a FREE, no obligation consultation on how to make a claim for compensation.

(Sources: HSE Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, Natural Hydration Council, Water-to-Go, Thorzt)

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