The law does not actually state a minimum or maximum temperature for the workplace, but it suggests the temperature in should normally be at least:
• 16°C or
• 13°C if much of the work involves rigorous physical effort.
These temperatures are not absolute legal requirements; the employer has a duty to determine what reasonable comfort will be in the particular circumstances.
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, which places a legal obligation on employers to provide a ‘reasonable’ temperature in the workplace. Regulation 7 deals specifically with the temperature in indoor workplaces and states that: ‘During working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable.’
In addition the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require employers to make a suitable assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees, and take action where necessary and where reasonably practicable. The temperature of the workplace is one of the potential hazards that employers should address to meet their legal obligations.
By managing and controlling the temperature in the workplace, office, school, college, public building etc, you are likely to improve the morale and productivity of your staff or students as well as improving their health and safety. People working in uncomfortably hot and cold environments are more likely to behave unsafely because their ability to make decisions and/or perform manual tasks deteriorates.
• people may take short cuts to get out of cold environments
• employees might not wear personal protective equipment properly in hot environments increasing the risks
• an employee’s ability to concentrate on a given task may start to drop off, which increases the risk of errors occurring.
As an employer you should be aware of these risks and consider a Building Management Control System from Clarkson Controls. Clarkson Controls design, manufacture and supply building management control systems with fully programmable BACnet sensors that control a buildings energy usage, heating, mechanical ventilation, automated windows, natural ventilation, Legionella control, air conditioning and lighting.
Our design team offer bespoke building control systems to ensure your building space is comfortable, healthy and safe.