My thanks to those of you that have contacted me about EDM 344. Though I do not sign EDMs due to their excessive cost and limited legislative effect, I still felt it best to respond to the Motion here.
I am proud of the UK’s world-leading health and safety regime. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has worked hard to simplify regulations and remove unnecessary requirements on employers, helping businesses to grow responsibly and ensuring the safety of workers.
Though current regulations set no limits on workplace temperatures, the HSE offers a guideline minimum of 13-16°C depending on the environment. In addition, the Executive and Local Authorities regularly assess workplace compliance with legislation, with high priority given to workplaces likely to reach extreme temperatures such as foundries and bakeries.
Given the diversity of workplaces in the UK, it is counterproductive to legislate for minimum or maximum temperatures. The above mentioned foundries, for example, will have to operate at a far higher temperature than a standard office.
Whilst I appreciate the concern shown by supports of EDM 344, the current case-by-case system is both more practical and ensures for more meaningful investigation. Those who are concerned about health and safety breaches in their own organisation can refer to HSE’s extensive guidance, which is tailored to different businesses, by clicking here.