For the people keeping Britain running, extreme heat is dangerous. Workplace protections and decarbonisation are essential
The Met Office issued its first ever extreme heat warning this week, having introduced the new category in June, warning of health risks across the west of England and Wales. High temperatures might be fun on the beach, but thousands of key workers will face unbearable working conditions. The heat should be a wake-up call for the government to make work safer now, and take climate action that creates sustainable and long-lasting working conditions into the future.
In this heat, today, people are harvesting raspberries and strawberries, packing deliveries in warehouses and distribution centres, delivering food and documents on bikes and mopeds. Some of them will have to do these jobs without regular breaks or access to drinking water. Some are required to wear uniforms designed for much cooler weather. Many are the same low-paid key workers who risked infection getting us through the pandemic, and are now exposed to dangerous temperatures.