What is The Safe Working Temperature?

The temperature of offices and workplaces throughout the UK is always a hot topic, and personal opinions and temperaments means different people are suited to working in different temperatures. What is too cold for some might be comfortable for others, but is there such things as a safe working temperature?

This month, we’re looking into the temperatures of workplaces and what the minimum and maximum temperatures are for different environments, so you can see how your office, shop or warehouse compares.

Temperature and the law

There isn’t a particular law stating exact temperatures in workplaces, but the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 states that an employer should maintain a ‘reasonable temperature’. It’s almost impossible to gauge a specific temperature that’s comfortable for every worker, so guidelines and recommendations are used instead.

Minimum temperature

Although there is no legally specified minimum temperature, it is recommended that the safe minimum temperature in workplaces should be around 16°C for sedentary environments like offices, and 13°C for workplaces involving more physical activity, like warehouses.

If your workplace is too cold, this will have a noticeable negative impact on just about all of your workers, so operating above the recommended minimum temperatures should allow your working environment to be comfortable for as many people as possible. With temperature, it’s always best to keep an ear out and listen to feedback from employees. If too many people are complaining that the temperature is far too cold, it will be worth raising it to something more acceptable.

Maximum temperature

Despite the health risks associated with working in excess heat, there is no legal requirement for a maximum working temperature. It’s harder to provide recommendations here as the working temperature can differ dramatically between industries. Places like foundries and glass works will have a much higher working temperature to begin with than an office or retail space, so it can be much more difficult to regulate a constant temperature in more extreme environments.

Still, for places like offices and warehouses, the TUC (Trade Union Centre) recommends an absolute maximum temperature of 30°C for sedentary environments and 27°C for more physically intensive workplaces. The TUC also recommend that anything above 24°C should be reduced, with employers keeping constantly aware of the comfort of employees as temperatures rise.

Regulate

The best way to ensure a comfortable working temperature is to pay attention to the response of employees. An individual’s temperament will change throughout the year and, as an employer, you will need to be attuned to those changes and react accordingly. Having the correct temperature regulation equipment installed in your workplace will allow you to respond and regulate temperature with ease and precision.

A professionally installed air conditioning unit will allow you to correctly regulate temperature in almost any working environment, from large and small offices to industrial warehouses. Being able to regulate indoor temperature quickly and efficiently will mean your employees can be as comfortable as possible no matter the season, without having to worry about either being too hot or too cold, and therefore suffering any health problems which may crop up as a result.

FM Mechanical Ltd are specialists in providing comprehensive air conditioning services to customers throughout Sheffield and across the UK. We have over 30 years of experience when it comes to installing, repairing and maintaining a range of air conditioning units for commercial and domestic purposes, and our knowledgeable team are always on hand to provide expert advice and assistance. To find out more about all of our services, get in touch with us today and we will be more than happy to help.