With summer fast approaching, and the memories of an unbearably ice-cold winter still frozen solid in our minds, it’s important to ensure both employers and employees are aware of what are safe and legally acceptable temperatures to work in. It is a legal requirement by employers to ensure that their staff work in temperatures that are deemed reasonable; this was made law by the Workplace Regulations of 1992.
Legal Minimum Temperatures
In workplaces, such as offices, the temperature should be at least 16°C, with 13°C being the acceptable level for work outdoors, when a lot of physical effort is involved. These temperatures are not completely legal requirements, but are guidelines for an employer to determine that their employees are working in comfortable conditions. It is an employer’s duty to do so.
Legal Maximum Temperatures
At the upper end of the scale figures for what is or isn’t acceptable temperatures are more difficult to lay down. Air temperature will not be the only factor to consider on warm days, as humidity, radiant temperature and air velocity all have to be considered also. Consequently, determining ‘safe’ temperatures can become complicated when there is interplay between several of these factors.
It is down to the employer to make an assessment on when temperature becomes a risk to the health and safety of workers. When there is a danger to health and safety an employer should take the appropriate action, when it is is practical to do so. The 1999 Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations means that, by law, employers have to make sure that their workers are working in satisfactory conditions when it comes to temperatures.
What the HSE Say
If temperatures reach a high level the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advises consultation between employers and employees, or their representatives, to come to an agreement regarding appropriate working conditions. If an agreement can’t be reached, then employees are advised to get advice from their HSE office, or their environmental health office.
Here at Coolstream we specialise in air conditioning design, supply and installation, as well as maintenance in a variety of environments. These environments include healthcare, educational and commercial. We make it a priority to only use major manufacturers of air conditioning systems and heat pumps, as we aim to give clients the best systems for efficient climate control, together with excellent service.
We are also aware of our environmental responsibilities, and each of our employees has undergone training on the importance of being environmentally aware. For more information about our services, please get in touch with our experienced and welcoming staff, via either our 0117 957 2988 number, or our contact page, which can be accessed here.
May 16th, 2014 by admin-cool