8. Cold stress

The Approved Code of Practice on 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

You will be likely to comply with the law if you work in line with the British Standards listed below but you can demonstrate compliance by other means.

General advice on working in cold temperatures

Although we don’t provide guidance on cold stress, we do have broad advice on protecting workers from cold weather.

We also have advice for specific industries where people are exposed to very low temperatures, for example when working with chilled and frozen products.

British Standards for cold stress in the workplace

We have listed the main standards that apply to help you develop your risk assessment and start managing the problem.

You may need to refer to other standards listed elsewhere, depending on the type of work you do.

These standards are available from BSI Group.

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