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UK Receives First Ever Red Extreme Heat Warning From the Met Office

UK Receives First Ever Red Extreme Heat Warning From the Met Office
15 July 2022

Extreme heat warnings have been in place for much of the UK, but soon temperatures are predicted to reach 40°C – a UK weather first.  

A Red extreme heat national severe weather warning will cover parts of central, northern, eastern and southeastern England on Monday 18 July and Tuesday 19th July.

Amber Extreme heat warnings have also been extended to cover Cornwall, west Wales and parts of southern Scotland.

The current Heat Health Warning has also been raised to Level 4 for England by the UK Health Security Agency.

The Met Office also states that extreme heat events do occur within natural climate variation, but the increase in the frequency, duration, and intensity of these events over recent decades is clearly linked to global warming and can be attributed to human activity.” 


Record-Breaking UK Heat – Health Alerts


Dr Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at UKHSA, said: “Heat-health alerts have now been issued to the majority of the country, with temperatures set to remain consistently high throughout the duration of the weekend and the start of next week.

“It is important to keep yourself hydrated and to find shade where possible when UV rays are strongest, between 11am and 3pm.

“If you have vulnerable family, friends and neighbours, make sure they are aware of how they can keep themselves protected from the warm weather.’’


Employers Urged to be Flexible in Heatwaves


The CIPD is urging employers to embrace flexible arrangements, to help staff stay comfortable and productive during this expected extreme heat.

Rachel Suff, Wellbeing Adviser for the CIPD, recommends that employers should be flexible with working arrangements and allow people to work from home in very hot weather if they will be more comfortable and productive at home:

“Commuting can be arduous in hot weather, so allowing people to stagger their start and finish times to avoid travelling at peak rush hour could help.”


Older Buildings at Risk of Extreme Heat


Rachel continued: “In a heatwave some workplaces, such as old buildings or those with a lot of glass, can become extremely hot and employers need to be aware of the health risks. People’s health and safety should be first and foremost and employers should be particularly mindful of people with a disability or health condition as the heat can make them particularly vulnerable.

“The heat can affect people’s level of concentration and cause fatigue, which may have health and safety implications for people working in some jobs such as safety-critical roles. Employers need to make sure the workplace is as cool as possible and provide fans if there’s no aircon. Relaxing a strict uniform code could also help people to be more comfortable.”

Picture: a graphic showing a person wearing a shirt and tie and sitting very close to a desktop fan. Image Credit: Pixabay

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 15 July 2022


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