The answer to this question that has been asked by a number of our clients during the course of the recent cold snap is that temperature conditions for staff working indoors are covered by the Work place, (Health Safety & Welfare Regulations 1992).
The simple answer is that there is no minimum or indeed maximum temperature under which employees working indoors may operate.
The legislation provides that the legal obligation of employers is to provide “a reasonable” temperature within the workplace.
Although not a legal requirement, it is often cited that the minimum temperature for a place of work, should be at least 16 degrees Celsius or in areas where employees are undergoing rigorous physical effort at least 13 degrees Celsius. There are no meaningful figures that refer to a possible maximum temperature due to the complexity and diversity of various working conditions. For example, power processing plants and foundries.
What is to be regarded as a reasonable working temperature is a matter for an individual employer to determine, taking into consideration the nature of their business and the activities that their employees are undertaking.
For further guidance on regulation 7 of “The Work Place, Safety & Welfare Regulations 1992” and other Health & Safety Regulations that impact upon your business, please contact Mr Andrew Gillett of Jarmans Solicitors.
As an employer, failure to appreciate your regulatory and legislative responsibilities under the Health & Safety Regulations can be costly not only in the terms of the sanctions the Health & Safety Executive may apply for a breach but also in terms of unhappy staff, unproductive work hours and a loss of employees through amongst other requirements a failure to provide them with a reasonable and a safe place to work in.