The Great British weather is famous all over the world – and so are us Brits for talking about it! In the winter, if the heating is not turned up to the max, there will always be a reliable few that can’t wait to tell us, “it’s too cold to work in here”!!! No doubt just a few short months later it will be the same people complaining that the temperatures are too dangerous to work in and everyone should be sent home.
Although summers are not very common here in the UK we do get the concessional heatwave.
To help out employers the HSE website should provide answers to your questions on whether it is too cold or too hot to work in your environment!
To put it briefly, there isn’t an exact maximum temperature to which it’s deemed too hot! But there is guidance on a reasonable temperature within the work place – which ideally should be at least 16C (or 13C for a workforce who exert severe physical effort).
The HSE previously recommended “an acceptable zone of thermal comfort for most people in the UK lies roughly between 13C and 30C with acceptable temperatures for more strenuous work concentrated towards the bottom end of the range and more sedentary activities the higher end’
So, to sum up; there is not a maximum temperature and only guidance on a minimum temperature. If you feel the temperature may be exceeding what you believe is reasonable whether it be hot or cold, read this guidance on the HSE website on what your employees can do to cool down.
Remember, some of the solutions are simple ones:
Are the windows open if you don’t have air conditioning?
Are the window closed if you do have air conditioning?
Are the blinds closed to keep the sun out?
Can people move around and sit somewhere else that may be cooler?
Can you reduce the amount of physical work that is required on a hot day?
Are staff wearing the appropriate clothing?
Can you relax your dress code?
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