Long hot summers are becoming standard in Britain. Which is great, of course - when you're out in the park and able to enjoy it.
But not so much when you're stuck at work.
It's not uncommon at the height of summer for offices and other workplaces to record temperatures of 37°(95°F). This makes work extra tiring for employees, and is a potential cause of accidents.
What are the hazards?
Hot temperatures can affect people working indoors or outdoors in a range of different workplaces including offices.
If people get too hot, they risk dizziness, fainting, or even heat cramps. In very hot conditions blood temperature rises. If the blood temperature elevates above 39 °C, there is a risk of heat stroke or collapse. Delirium or confusion can occur above 41°C. Blood temperatures at this level can prove fatal and even if a worker does recover, they may suffer irreparable organ damage.
Hot work indoors can lead to increased stress and lapses in concentration. These in turn can affect work by leading to mistakes and a reduced work rate and greater risk of accidents. Employees who work outdoors run a higher risk of skin cancer. They may also experience heat stress and heat stroke.
Exposure to sunlight can speed up the ageing process. Sunburn can also occur, and exposure to UV rays can trigger cold sores and lupus. Eyes can also be affected by exposure leading to problems in the long term.
What does the law say?
All employees are protected by law from having to work in excessively hot temperatures.
And to make sure you know your rights, we've teamed up with UNIONLINE - GMB members' law firm - to produce our second Quick Rights legal briefing.
You can read and download it here: www.gmb.org.uk/heat
Our Quick Rights legal advice will come in all sorts of formats, from brief PDF documents, to graphics and videos, but they'll all have one thing in common: professional, qualified legal advice delivered in a timely and easy to understand format.
For a more in-depth look at dealing with hot temperatures at work - and for a printable reps' checklist for dealing with hazards - download our full health & safety guide at www.gmb.org.uk/heat-full
We want to make you aware that we have organised an event to stand against the racial hatred promoted by right wing organisations following one of the leader's imprisonment, Tommy Robinson. His supporters will be marching in Leeds on the 7th July. We will be holding a counter rally and march to both celebrate and defend our brilliant multicultural city and in doing so, we will stand united against racism and fascism.
GMB will be represented at this incredibly important event and we invite you, your family and friends to join us to make it clear that the hatred and violence of such groups is not welcome.
“It is vital that the true voices of Leeds and Yorkshire are heard today; Multicultural, inclusive and tolerant voices which speak for our communities. Trade unions and GMB in particular are supporting this anti-fascist anti-racist rally because the racists and the fascists have no place in Leeds, Yorkshire or in our proud society - we will overcome.”
Neil Derrick GMB Regional Secretary.
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Nestlé’s success has been built up over 150 years, based on an approach rooted in sustainability at all levels, including social, environmental and economic.
In 2017, Nestlé announced a share buyback programme, increased structural cost savings and set its first-ever profit margin target, all in response to the inflated financial expectations of the activist shareholder community.
The change in direction announced by Nestlé is an apparent rejection of sustainability and puts the future at risk.
The power of Nestlé in recent years has been to invest in new products and development, in research and innovation and to promote the development of a skilled workforce in cooperation with trade unions.
Even during the financial crisis, Nestlé’s strategy was to invest and to promote the virtuous circle, resulting in more job stability, good industrial relations, better working conditions and a safer workplace.
The effects of Nestlé’s new approach are already being felt: job losses, pressure on wages, terms and conditions, more workplace stress due to increased workloads, job insecurity and consequences to worker health and safety and to food quality and food safety.
Nestlé will dispose of categories and businesses that do not perform to expectation. Is this a smart approach?
The virtuous circle has turned into a vicious circle. The vicious circle means 20% profit returns now, followed by 25% and later 30%. How far can the quest for profitability go until there is nothing left for investments, including in workers?
We expect innovation and investment in our workforce – not the short-termism that is being proposed by Nestlé management.
The IUF and its affiliates pledge full support to all affiliates in their actions to defend Nestlé’s continued sustainability.
Solidarity is the key to success.
Union warns a ‘bargain basement' deal could risk gambling with 330,000 people’s futures - as workers kept in dark on grocery merger.Read more