Welder fears that extreme heatwave will kill his colleagues

18 July 2022, 15:25

Welder tells LBC his colleagues will die at work in heatwave

By Seán Hickey

This caller tells LBC that three of his colleagues have already collapsed today due to heat exhaustion, and fears some will die in the coming days because of unsafe conditions.

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Britain's first ever red alert warning for the heatwave kicked in on Monday as forecasters warned temperatures could reach 43C on Tuesday.

Brits were urged to stay indoors and "do as little as possible" as record breaking temperatures have led to transport disruption and even water companies expressing concerns over potential shortages.

Read more: Britain's 'hottest day ever' kicks in with temperatures set to soar to 43C tomorrow

Phil in Staffordshire phoned in to Shelagh Fogarty to share his unique experience of the record-breaking weather.

The caller, who works as a welder, told Shelagh that he and his colleagues are facing "deadly" temperatures well above 160C, with very little provision available to keep workers cool.

"There's three people that have passed out today" he told LBC listeners, leaving Shelagh shocked.

Read more: Heat warnings 'the erosion of our freedoms', Tory MP fumes

Read more: Heatwave UK: expert advice on getting to sleep, and how to keep safe in 40C heat

Camilla Tominey calls for a 'sense of perspective' on the heatwave.

"Have you spoken to your bosses about these conditions?" She wondered.

Read more: 'Up to 10,000 excess heatwave deaths' should be anticipated - Ex-Govt Chief Scientist

The caller explained that his company "seem to get around the regulations", later explaining that regulators won't visit the site this week because of the extreme heat, allowing employers to operate without appropriate conditions for their staff.

"A lot of people will die from this", he warned.

Shelagh told the caller that she saw his plight as little more than a "Victorian workhouse situation" and asked what could be done to alleviate the plight of the welders.

Phil said there needs to be more health and safety provision in his industry, making the point that regulators can't check health and safety in these weather conditions.

He gave a hypothetical situation whereby a worker dies after heat exhaustion during the heatwave. He explained that the company could put the death down to natural causes in this case.

The caller concluded that the workers tried to unionise before but the company threw out the demand.

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