Is there a maximum workplace temperature what employees cannot work beyond?
Recently companies have been advised to adapt dress codes to help staff feel more comfortable and therefore more productive during heat waves. The next heatwave is due to hit us in mid-July and a question employees have been asking during the summer is ‘Is there a maximum temperature that staff can be expected to work in?’, much like there is a legal minimum requirement.
The Workplace Regulations 1992 state that, during working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings should be reasonable. However, the Regulations do not provide a maximum workplace temperature. The Health and Safety Executive previously defined an acceptable zone of thermal comfort for most people in the UK as lying “roughly between 13°C (56°F) and 30°C (86°F), with acceptable temperatures for more strenuous work activities concentrated towards the bottom end of the range, and for more sedentary activities towards the higher end”. What is reasonable will depend on the nature of the workplace and the activities undertaken.
For HR advice and guidance tailored to the needs of companies and employers, please contact Free HR Support by calling us on 0844 800 5932.