1. Is it too cold or hot to work?

Working in cold temperatures

The minimum temperature in an indoor workplace should normally be at least:

  • 16°C or
  • 13°C if much of the work involves rigorous physical effort

There are practical steps you can take to keep people as comfortable as possible when working in the cold.

Working in hot temperatures

There's no law for maximum working temperature, or when it's too hot to work, because every workplace is different.

No meaningful upper limit can be imposed because in many indoor workplaces high temperatures are not seasonal but created by work activity, for example in bakeries or foundries.

However, employers must stick to health and safety at work law, including:

  • keeping the temperature at a comfortable level
  • providing clean and fresh air

How to protect workers

There are practical steps you can take to protect workers in high or low temperatures.

Workers should talk to their employer if the workplace temperature isn't comfortable.

Find out about making workers feel more comfortable.

Outdoor working

Working outdoors in hot or cold environments for long periods of time can affect workers’ health. We have guidance on how you can protect people from the risks of outdoor working.

If your job involves extreme temperatures

In some workplaces extreme temperatures can be created by the work activity, such as some manufacturing processes. These temperatures can lead to serious health effects if not managed effectively.

You can find advice if you are working in very high or low temperatures, for example on heat stress, dehydration or cold stress.

Updated 2022-12-12