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

Explore our full range of Workplace training courses designed to improve the skills and knowledge of your workforce.

Click below to view our full range of NEBOSH courses!

Related Blogs

  • Which HSE Training Provider Is Best for You? Image
    William Gaunt

    Which HSE Training Provider Is Best for You?

    Discover why Astutis is renowned for being an industry-leading training provider for the health, safety and environmental sectors and what you can access as one of our esteemed customers.
    19.06.24
  • Is IOSH Managing Safely Useful to Transport Sectors? Image
    William Gaunt

    Is IOSH Managing Safely Useful to Transport Sectors?

    Discover how useful the IOSH Managing Safely course is to transport sectors and how the syllabus directly applies to their health and safety challenges.
    12.06.24
  • Free Fire Safety Checklist for Workplaces Image
    William Gaunt

    Free Fire Safety Checklist for Workplaces

    Find out key steps to take when evaluating your fire safety management in the workplace on what to optimise to prevent and protect against fires.
    11.06.24
  • Why Are Heat-Related Deaths Surging Across the Globe? Image
    Enock Ebbah

    Why Are Heat-Related Deaths Surging Across the Globe?

    Find out why heat-related deaths are on the rise and what active steps need to be taken to prevent them.
    05.06.24
  • How To Improve Environmental Awareness in Work Image
    William Gaunt

    How To Improve Environmental Awareness in Work

    Implement these key tips for improving environmental awareness in the workplace, helping your organisation strive for better sustainability outcomes.
    04.06.24
  • Free Workplace Accident Cost Calculators: And How They Work Image
    William Gaunt

    Free Workplace Accident Cost Calculators: And How They Work

    Access exclusive simple and incident cost calculators designed to help increase investment in health and safety preventative measures from stakeholders.
    30.05.24
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
  • "All aspects of the course are well presented and imformative. Found navigation and retentenion of info excellent."

    Chris
    03.06.2024
  • "Cost was covered by goverment funding due to my job loss.Money well spent."

    Chris
    03.06.2024
  • "Outstanding service and communication from the very first contact to the last. . ."

    David
    17.05.2024
  • "Comprehensive and full of detail, presented in an engaging way."

    David
    17.05.2024
  • "Highly recommend Astutis! The platform works very well, and the staff are a pleasure to deal with, extremely attentive and highly supportive!"

    Gary
    16.05.2024
  • "Excellent platform and supportive staff."

    Gary
    16.05.2024
  • "Excellent communications, friendly staff, user friendly website."

    Greg
    14.05.2024
  • "Course was excellent and delivered at a steady pace that made it easy to absorb information. The tutor Andy was very clear and concise and provided thorough preparation for the exam."

    Greg
    14.05.2024
  • "The proficiency of the admin team was great, and the ease of access and all communication was great. I will do a course with them again."

    LJ
    07.05.2024
  • "The course was comprehensive and included a great variety of subjects."

    LJ
    07.05.2024