Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
Courses Available Online, Virtually and Classroom
Fully Certified NEBOSH, IOSH, IEMA Accredited
7-Day Customer Service
David Bryan BSc, CMIOSH, CMAPS

Temperature in the Workplace

Learn about the common questions raised about minimum and maximum workplace temperatures allowed at work to ensure safety within the office.

December 2014

Temperature within the workplace can be very subjective.  One person’s ideal temperature can make another person too hot or cold.

In the colder times of year in the UK the temperature drops and an office often becomes a battle ground for the thermostat. This article looks at the main questions associate d with temperature in indoor workplaces.

As temperatures drop off, an office often becomes a battle ground for the thermostat

Q: Is there a minimum legal working temperature in UK indoor workplaces?

A: No

Q: Is there a maximum legal working temperature in UK indoor workplaces?

A: No

Q: What is the legislation on the temperature in UK Indoor Workplaces?

A: The Workplace (health safety & welfare) Regulations state that

  • During working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable
    • a workplace shall be adequately thermally insulated where it is necessary
    • excessive effects of sunlight on temperature shall be avoided.
  • Heating or cooling methods should not allow noxious fumes into the workplace
  • A sufficient number of thermometers shall be provided to enable persons at work to determine the temperature in any workplace inside a building

Q: Are you sure, I thought there was a minimum legal temperature?

There is no direct Health and Safety legislation stating legal temperatures. (Some other areas such as food safety may have specific requirements and you should ascertain if these effect your work). The Approved Code of Practice to the regulations suggests that for workplaces is where physically work is carried out the minimum is 13 degrees, where more office work is carried out the minimum is 16 degrees. There is no guidance within the regulations for maximum temperatures.

In addition, they may be other guidance/legislation for working in areas where food is stored and prepared. But this article is looking at the Health, Safety and Welfare requirements.

Q: What do I have to do to comply with the legislation?

A: You have to ensure that:

  • There are sufficient numbers of thermometers around your premises
  • Your heating/cooling equipment is regularly inspected and maintained so as not to pose a danger to your employees

Q: My employees complain that it is too cold what should I do?

A: Ensure that the heating is working!  Then establish a reasonable temperature.

Q: I normally have suitable heating but it has broken down and it is cold what should I do?

A: In this type of situation, you should ensure that alternative heating such as portable, oil-filled heaters are made available. Where this is not practical (e.g. due to a short duration) then employees should have regular breaks to warm up in another room, access to hot drinks and have the ability to wear coats and gloves.

Q: My employees are complaining it is too hot. What do I have to do?

A: You have to provide suitable cooling methods. This could be air conditioning unit(s), allowing staff to take regular breaks in a cooler room, providing cool drinks. The solutions depend on what your workplace requirements are.

Q: Where can I find further information on temperature in the workplace?

A: The UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a very detailed webpage at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/temperature/

You can also find further information on temperature in the workplace in our blog titled: Heat in the workplace: Assessing Risk

Click below to view our full range of NEBOSH courses!

Related Blogs

  • 23 Reasons to Study With Astutis in 2023: Part Two Image
    Toby Howell BA PGDip

    23 Reasons to Study With Astutis in 2023: Part Two

    Complete your understanding of the 23 reasons why we are the industry-standard health, safety and environmental training provider in 2023. Read more here!
     
    28.01.23
  • IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management: Learner Diaries #3 Image
    Toby Howell BA PGDip

    IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management: Learner Diaries #3

    Read the final instalment in the trilogy of blogs that document a successful venture into the IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management course. Read more here.
    12.01.23
  • 23 Reasons to Study With Astutis in 2023: Part One Image
    Toby Howell BA PGDip

    23 Reasons to Study With Astutis in 2023: Part One

    In this first instalment, we unpack why you should choose to train with Astutis in 2023. We detail 23 reasons, because, well it's 2023! Discover the first eleven reasons here! Read more now. 
    11.01.23
  • IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management: Learner Diaries #2 Image
    Toby Howell BA PGDip

    IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management: Learner Diaries #2

    Toby's IEMA Foundation Certificate Learner Diary returns with Part Two. In this instalment he covers Elements 4-6, sharing how he managed to pass first time. Read more here. 
    05.01.23
  • A Year In-Review: 2022 and Its Effects on Astutis and the Health, Safety and Environmental Industry Image
    Steve Terry

    A Year In-Review: 2022 and Its Effects on Astutis and the Health, Safety and Environmental Industry

    Astutis, Managing Director, Steve Terry looks back on the events of 2022 and invites us all to be optimistic as we head towards 2023. Read more here.
    23.12.22
  • How To Maximise Your Virtual Training Experience Image
    Brenig Moore MCIEH CEnvH CMIOSH

    How To Maximise Your Virtual Training Experience

    Astutis Technical Director, Brenig Moore investigates the world of virtual training, using research and studies to underline the very best practices afforded by virtual training. Read more here. 
    12.12.22
Section Curve
Case Studies

Real Life Stories

Find out how learners look back on their training with Astutis. Our case studies give our learners, both individual and corporate, a platform to share their Astutis experience. Discover how training with Astutis has helped past learners and delegates make the world a safer place, one course at a time.
More Image
Bottom Curve
What People Say

Hear What Our Learners Have To Say

We're always there for our customers. 98% of our learners rated their overall experience as good or outstanding. We will always pride ourselves on our customer service. But don’t take our word for it, here is what our customers have to say
  • "From start to finish the service Astutis have provided has been 5 star. Following the amazing experience I have referred multiple colleagues to complete training with Astutis. Great course, great support and great customer service"

    Stuart
    03.02.2023
  • "I really enjoyed studying Nebosh with Astutis. I had tried to complete the Nebosh Qualification previously but Astutis made it easier to learn and provided great training resources and support."

    Stuart
    03.02.2023
  • "Great customer focus, as usual!"

    Gary
    01.02.2023
  • "Excellent course, thank you"

    Gary
    01.02.2023
  • "Ever since I started with Astitus in 2018 I have completed two qualifications with them and they have always been quick to respond to queries, they have convenient payment options since I'm based in south Africa, I don't always afford to pay cash due to exchange rates. Hilary is super helpful she will communicate new courses and assist with information and enrolment. If it were possible to do my MSc with them, I would have enrolled with them"

    Philiswa Sister
    01.02.2023
  • "The course is very informative and outlines useful information that i will apply on my everyday duties"

    Philiswa Sister
    01.02.2023
  • "Course content was good though the on boarding was an issue with sone to and fro to sort wasting time."

    26.01.2023
  • "Content aligned to all learning styles and relevant to risk professionals especially h and s a worthwhile bit of cpd"

    26.01.2023
  • "Astutis advisor training course enrolled me quickly on my course. The course was well detailed, well organised and easy access to the platform for my study."

    Saito
    26.01.2023
  • "Good course and well presented. The content is easy to understand with options to listen or read. Videos and flowcharts describe well the content for a better understanding."

    Saito
    26.01.2023