top of page

Workplace Temperature

The HSE has updated its guidance on workplace temperature. The guidance explains the importance of assessing the risks to employees from low temperatures and less daylight; working in hot temperatures following last year's heatwave; and the impact when working outside. The key considerations are: You can take these practical steps to keep people as comfortable as possible when working in the cold:

  • Provide adequate workplace heating, such as portable heaters, to ensure work areas are warm enough when they are occupied

  • Design processes that minimise exposure to cold areas and cold products

  • Reduce draughts while still keeping adequate ventilation

  • Provide insulating floor coverings or special footwear when workers have to stand for long periods on cold floors

  • Provide appropriate protective clothing for cold environments

You can also change work systems:

  • Limit exposure by introducing systems such as flexible working patterns or job rotation

  • Provide enough breaks to allow workers to get hot drinks or warm up in heated areas

When people are too hot:

You can help ensure people are comfortable in warm conditions:

  • Provide fans, such as desk, pedestal or ceiling-mounted ones

  • Provide air-cooling or air-conditioning and adequate ventilation

  • Ensure windows can be opened to keep air circulating

  • Shade employees from direct sunlight with blinds or by using reflective film on windows

  • Position workstations away from direct sunlight or sources of heat

  • Place insulating materials around hot plant and pipes

  • Provide cold water dispensers (water is better than caffeine or carbonated drinks)

You can also change work arrangements to avoid people getting too hot:

  • Introduce flexible working patterns, such as job rotation, moving workers to cooler parts of the building where possible

  • Allow enough breaks to allow workers to get cold drinks or cool down

  • Relax formal dress codes – but make sure personal protective equipment is used if required

The stipulated temperatures remain unchanged: the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations suggests the minimum temperature for working indoors should normally be at least:

  • 16°C or

  • 13°C if much of the work involves rigorous physical effort

There is no maximum legal temperature.

9 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Sexual harassment at work law enhanced

The UK government is making significant changes to workplace discrimination laws with the introduction of the Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill which is now set to become law. Th


bottom of page