Q&As

Is there a maximum temperature for a working environment?

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Published on LexisPSL on 04/07/2018

The following Practice Management Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is there a maximum temperature for a working environment?
  • Is there a maximum temperature for a working environment?
  • What is a ‘reasonable’ working temperature?
  • What does ‘thermal comfort’ mean?
  • What can staff do to keep cool?

Is there a maximum temperature for a working environment?

Is there a maximum temperature for a working environment?

The short answer is no. There’s no law setting out a maximum working temperature, or specifying when it’s too hot to work.

Temperatures in indoor workplaces are covered by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, SI 1992/3004, which require employers to provide a ‘reasonable’ temperature in the workplace, during working hours.

What is a ‘reasonable’ working temperature?

What’s reasonable will depend on what type of workplace it is.

Guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) suggests a reasonable working temperature is at least 16°C (or 13°C for more strenuous physical work), unless specific rules apply.

This is not a legal minimum—you should establish what’s reasonable in any workplaces you are responsible for.

Generally, as an employer you are expected to provide:

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