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Extreme heat wave: what really helps with the current temperatures at work

Extreme heat wave: what really helps with the current temperatures at work


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Heat wave: How to survive the hot days in the office

It is already unbearably hot in some places; and temperatures will continue to rise over the next few days, up to 40 degrees. Working in the office is particularly difficult in this heat. Experts explain how you can make the situation in the workplace more bearable.

Stay healthy and productive

We are currently experiencing a wonderful summer, but not everyone can look forward to it. The high temperatures cause health problems such as headache, fatigue and dizziness for many people. It is particularly difficult for those who can not linger at the bathing lake in the heat, but have to work. But there are some measures that can help you stay healthy and fit on hot summer days.

High temperatures affect the body

As the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) explains on its website, the human body controls its core temperature so that it is constantly around 37 degrees.

When the outside temperature rises, sweat forms. If this evaporates, the body is cooled. Nevertheless, skin temperature and heart rate increase, which is usually harmless.

Sweating leads to loss of fluids and minerals. Accordingly, the need for liquid increases.

Mineral water, unsweetened fruit and herbal teas and diluted fruit juices are particularly suitable as thirst quenchers.

And don't worry: According to experts, it is very unlikely that you will drink too much. For a "water poisoning" an adult would have to drink six liters of water in a row.

According to a study by the BAuA, performance is still available after four hours at higher air temperatures.

But you feel less fresh and the willingness to perform decreases.

Measures against the heat

According to the workplace regulation, the employer should carry out the following exemplary measures in hot weather:

Control sun protection
The sun protection, for example on windows, must be lowered in time. Blinds should remain closed even after the end of work.

Air early in the morning
On hot summer days, the air warms significantly from 10 a.m. at the latest. It should therefore be aired early in the morning. Ventilation devices are to be controlled in a targeted manner so that, for example, night cooling is possible.

Flexible working hours
Flexible working hours and flexitime allow you to work when the indoor temperature is still beneficial to your health.

Use fans and air conditioners
Fans provide employees with pleasant cooling. Mobile air conditioners can help lower the temperature in individual rooms.

Loosen clothing rules
A relaxed dress code also helps on hot days. Doing without a jacket and tie, short-sleeved shirts and blouses, light trousers or a summer skirt - all of these can prevent the body from overheating.

Provide drinks
Drinks such as mineral water and juice spritzers support the body's own heat regulation. Very cold drinks, such as ice cubes, should be avoided.

Everyone can do that themselves

The BAuA also lists which rules of conduct everyone should take into account, even in the heat:

If possible, sun protection devices should be closed in such a way that direct sunlight does not get into the office. It should be ensured that there is sufficient daylight without artificial lighting.

Heat sources are to be avoided, therefore unnecessary devices in the office should be switched off. This also applies to the lighting.

It is also important to adapt the clothing to the high temperatures. Air and moisture permeable, light and comfortable clothing and breathable shoes are ideal. This wardrobe makes sweating easier and thus reduces the heat load.

Since the body loses a lot of fluid through sweating, care should be taken to ensure adequate hydration. While around two liters of liquid are sufficient on one working day at room temperature of 24 degrees, around three liters or more should be drunk at high temperatures.

It is also recommended to adjust the diet. It is best to eat light meals throughout the day instead of hearty dishes. This prevents stomach problems and other complaints that often occur in the heat.

Short-term cooling is achieved by wetting the wrists with cold water. Fans, which you can adjust yourself, also ensure cooling.

No legal claim to heat free

The BAuA also points out that body signals should be observed: “Not everyone can tolerate heat equally well. Pay attention to signals from your body and go to cooler areas when you are not feeling well, ”write the experts.

Finally, they explain that there is no direct legal claim for employees to air-conditioned rooms or heat-free rooms.

However, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the employer is obliged "to design the work in such a way that a risk to life and health is avoided and the remaining risks are kept low." (Ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


Video: Why overnight temperatures make. heat wave even more excruciating (December 2022).