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.
- BS EN 511: Protective gloves against cold
- BS EN ISO 13732-3: Ergonomics of the thermal environment. Methods for the assessment of human responses to contact with surfaces
- BS 7915: Ergonomics of the thermal environment. Guide to design and evaluation of working practices in cold indoor environments
- DD ENV ISO 11079: Evaluation of cold environments. Determination of required clothing insulation (IREQ)
- BS EN ISO 15743: Ergonomics of the thermal environment. Cold workplaces. Risk assessment and management
These standards are available from BSI Group.