Lead Forensics

Keeping warehouse staff warm during the energy crisis

Warehouse owners are concerned about the rising costs of energy and the expense of keeping the warehouse warm in winter.

Employers may be tempted to turn the heating down, but the 1992 Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations make the employer responsible for providing a comfortable workplace environment. It is recommended that the workplace temperature should be at least 16 degrees.

Pickers who briskly walk when pushing storage trolleys or heavy-duty garment rails may not have difficulty keeping warm, but office workers sitting down all day need to feel comfortable. Heating pads are a cost-effective way of helping office workers keep warm in winter.

Richard O’Connor of First Mats warns against allowing stuff to bring in their own space heaters as these may violate health and safety rules if they have not been tested and approved for commercial use. He recommends installing PVC strip curtains at warehouse doors which help keep warmth in and reduce noise.

Dress codes can be relaxed in winter to allow workers to wear fleeces, pullovers and other warm clothing.

Fans are associated with keeping spaces cool, but they are also useful for distributing heat better.

A cold workplace can cause employees to reduce productivity and may lead to staff resignations. Cold can be a health hazard, especially for those with COPD and cardiovascular conditions,

The Energy Relief Scheme launched by the government provides financial help in paying energy bills, but this is not a long-term solution.

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