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Heatwave: too hot to work?

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: User insights

Last week, Peter Jordan looked at how the warm weather and other external events affected traffic to GOV.UK. With temperatures getting hotter and hotter, what was the effect on our heat-related content?

Pageviews of heatwave-related content since 8 July
Pageviews of heatwave-related content since 8 July

Heatwave guidance

The annual Heatwave Plan for England was published in May, to raise awareness of the potential dangers to health and encourage organisations to prepare for severe hot weather.

It really took off in mid-July when the Met Office issued heatwave alerts for many parts of the country, peaking on 17 July. The main publication page has had almost 25,000 pageviews so far this month.

Public Health England's press release for the Level 2 heatwave alert was viewed 3,500 times from 12 to 19 July, while the Level 3 heatwave alert for the South East got 5,000 pageviews in just 3 days from 17 to 19 July.

Workplace temperatures

Meanwhile, sweltering workers and employers wanted to know whether there's a maximum working temperature. Our quick answer has had 20,000 pageviews this month, compared to 2,000 in previous months - again peaking on 17 July, when outdoor temperatures reached 32°C. In fact there's no legal limit, but indoor working temperatures must be reasonable.

Most of these users came from Google searches, using a variety of keywords such as 'maximum working temperature', 'working temperature limits' and 'legal temperatures to work in'. Our page title is 'Workplace temperatures' so it ranks well when the query includes the word 'temperature'.

But in our site search data, we've also noticed some related phrases like 'working in heat', 'working in hot weather', 'heat at work' and 'too hot to work', for which this page isn't returned because it doesn't actually contain the words 'hot' or 'heat'. So there's an opportunity to improve our internal and external search results and help more people find this official source of  information.

Top site search terms related to hot weather
Top site search terms related to hot weather

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1 comment

  1. Comment by Baxter Personnel posted on

    I remember when this heatwave happened, we got to leave slightly early on one of the days and fans had to be bought. It was quite hot! hopefully another next year.