The law does not state a minimum or maximum temperature, but the temperature in workrooms should normally be at least:
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.
The section on what the law says provides further information.
A reasonable temperature for a workplace depends on work activity and the environmental conditions of the workplace.
To find out if you have a reasonable workplace temperature you need to:
If a significant number of employees are complaining about thermal discomfort, your employer should carry out a risk assessment, and act on the results of that assessment.
Where personal protective equipment (PPE) is required it can cause heat stress due to its weight and the fact that it prevents sweat evaporating from the skin. In these situations employers should:
Applying the control measures described on these webpages should be sufficient to ensure the welfare of those affected. While there’s no requirement on employees to disclose conditions that may affect thermal comfort, if an employee chooses to do so then it may be that the temporary measures described on these webpages could manage their thermal comfort.
PPE is intended to protect employees from a risk to safety and health and should always be considered as a last resort. People can sometimes wear too much PPE so you should always look at the reasons for PPE.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) at work: A brief guide provides advice on selecting the most appropriate PPE for your workplace.