Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Working at the Right Temperature
Posted by David Cant on January 24, 2013

One of the problems with the cold weather is getting the right temperature in the workplace. Workers have every right to complain if the temperature is considered to be too cold or too hot. As an employer you need to make sure your working environment is suitable for your employees and will not have adverse effects on their health.  So to help avoid problems we have some tips and information to make sure the temperature is right in your work space.

The minimum temperature in work spaces is 16 degrees Celsius unless the work is very physical in which case it needs to be 13 degrees Celsius.  The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 state that the temperature has to be reasonable without the need to wear any special clothes.

If the temperature is too high employers have to take necessary steps to resolve the problem, which could include:

  • Adding insulation to pipes that are too hot
  • Adding air cooling
  • Putting shades on the windows
  • Rearranging the work space so workstations are a reasonable distance from the source of the heat
  • Introducing fans and other cooling systems

If you have several employees complaining about the level of heat you can perform a thermal risk assessment. Once the assessment is completed you should use the findings and take appropriate actions.

If the temperature is too cold you may need to take steps to retain enough heat for your employees such as:

  • Improving the insulation in the walls, roof or around windows
  • Improving the flooring to stop heat escaping
  • Encouraging office workers to move around and take breaks
  • Turning up the thermostat Introducing alternative and additional heating

In some circumstances it is necessary to provide protective clothing that will help to manage the effects the thermal environment is having on your employees. Again it is necessary to perform a risk assessment and evaluate the cold environment to come up with suitable options.  It is also bad for the circulation and the immune systems of your employees and therefore needs to be addressed.

Being too cold or too hot can lead to less productivity in your staff.  Speak to your health and safety consultants about working in hot and cold conditions and the steps you need to take in order to be in compliance with the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations. Call 0800 1488 677 and ask about the available health and safety services.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

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