Heatwave: Advice on high temperatures in the workplace
Is it too hot to work?
What is the minimum and maximum temperature in the workplace?
The law does not state a minimum or maximum temperature, but the temperature in workrooms should normally be at least 16°C or 13°C if much of the work involves rigorous physical effort.
A meaningful maximum figure cannot be given due to the high temperatures found in, for example, glass works or foundries. In such environments it is still possible to work safely provided appropriate controls are present. Factors other than air temperature, ie radiant temperature, humidity and air velocity, become more significant and the interaction between them become more complex with rising temperatures.
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 lay down particular requirements for most aspects of the working environment. 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.'
However, the application of the regulation depends on the nature of the workplace, such as a bakery, a cold store, an office, a warehouse.
These Regulations only apply to employees – they do not apply to members of the public, for example, with regard temperature complaints from customers in a shopping centre or cinema.
For further information and advice, this link will take you to the section on the HSE website on what the law says