Posts from July 2018

Summer is here again and we're in the middle of Britain's longest heatwave since the drought of 1976. While the temperature outside soars, so can the heat indoors, and talk often turns to whether there's a maximum temperature for the workplace and if employees can go home once the thermometer reaches a certain level. 
 
Contrary to popular belief, there is no maximum temperature defined. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 state that the temperature in the workplace needs to be "reasonable". What is reasonable depends on the nature of the workplace and the type of work being carried out by employees. 
 
However, employers do have a duty to ensure their employees can work safely in heat, and may wish to consider some temporary work adjustments, especially if the work is strenuous or physical or if employees are pregnant or have medical conditions that are affected by the heat. 
 
Employers could relax dress code rules, provide extra fans, provide water to drink and encourage staff to keep hydrated. Outdoor workers may wish to do most of their work at either end of the day to avoid the mid-day sun. Flexible working hours may also help employees avoid the heat of the rush hour. 
I heard recently that a four-year-old asks up to 400 questions a day. Wow, that's a lot of questions! But it's by asking all these questions that they learn so much during their early years. When they start school, the number of questions children ask begins to decline. Indeed, throughout their school years they are rewarded not for asking questions, but for giving the right answers! 
 
This got me thinking about how many questions we, as adults, ask. How often do we assume we always know the answer (when there might be a better solution), that everything is fine (when it isn't) or that everyone agrees with us (when they don't)? 
 
I firmly believe that one of the most important characteristics in life is to have the ability and willingness to learn. Learning is a life-long process - we don't know everything and there's always the opportunity to learn new skills, knowledge or a better way of doing things. 
 
I don't know what I don't know, but I do know that there's a lot of it. So I'm always asking questions, I actively seek constructive feedback from others and I never want to be the smartest person in the room. I enjoy debate and being challenged, and this is why every day IS a school day and I never stop learning. 
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