The arrival of the summer sun is a welcome relief for people in some regions of the USA, but that relief can often turn to despair when temperatures get out of control. While the vast majority of office buildings and retail environments have air conditioning, some systems are more effective than others. What about employees who work outside? Where will they get some respite from the intensity of the sun’s rays? By adopting a few practical changes to the workplace, business owners can make it a far more comfortable and productive place to be.
Display Advice for Employees
Employees might neglect their own health if they are conscientious and hard-working, so it’s always a good idea to point them in the right direction. Business owners should advise their workforce to switch off unnecessary lighting and electrical equipment around their workstations. Employees should also drink fluids throughout the day and use blinds to block out as much of the sun as possible. If they work outside, they should be taking regular breaks in the shade and have access to water at all times. Employees suffering from the effects of heat exhaustion or increased irritability will probably be far less productive, so looking after their welfare is also in a business owner’s best interests.
Modify Working Practices
If it’s practical to do so, business owners should invite staff to start work earlier so that the bulk of their duties can be completed before the temperature in the early afternoon is at its highest. If employees work online, they should be invited to work from home. If coming to work is absolutely essential, business owners should designate a cool room within the premises where air conditioning and shelter from the sun is at its most effective. Temporarily relaxing the workplace dress code by inviting staff to wear lighter, cooler t-shirts and shorts is also a good idea during the hottest days of summer. If the work carried out by employees involves an element of heavy, physical labor, modifying schedules so these tasks are carried out at the coolest times of day, either first thing in the morning or last thing at night, should also be considered.
Attend to Any Maintenance Issues Immediately
A company’s work premises need to be in reasonable order if employees are to remain cool and comfortable during periods of hot weather. Business owners should ensure that their air conditioning facilities are always in full working order and attend to any broken windows or compromised walls that could negate the effectiveness of cooling systems. If there are drinking fountains or water coolers in the workplace, they should always be fully operational.
Extreme heat can distract employees, which can increase the likelihood of work-based accidents. More directly, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and dehydration could lead to more serious health conditions. Business owners should check the terms of their business insurance to ensure that they are covered for personal and bodily injury, just in case an employee takes legal action against as a result of a heat-related illness.
If you need clarification or guidance on business insurance and what it covers, call us now at 877-430-0092, and one of our experienced insurance agents will answer any questions you may have. You can also fill in our online Colorado business insurance quote form for expedited service.