For those working indoors, in offices, schools, factories and shops, temperatures can become very uncomfortable. Overheated workplaces can result in “discomfort, stress, irritability and headaches… extra strain on the heart and lungs, dizziness and fainting and heat cramps due to the loss of water and salt.” (Ref 1)
If employees are uncomfortable and experiencing these effects they are less productive and more prone to making errors, which can be costly. In addition, if they suffer any of the more serious physical consequences, this could result in time off sick. It is therefore clear that ensuring the workplace is a comfortable temperature is in the best interests of every business.
Is there a maximum workplace temperature?
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations, 1992, state that employers have an obligation to maintain a safe and comfortable working temperature, for all employees, at all times. The regulation vaguely states that: “During working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable.” (Ref 2: Page 19).
However there is no clear or definitive maximum workplace temperature – all though MPs have supported the idea of introducing one.
It is clear to see that, regardless if a law is passed regarding maximum workplace temperatures, it is vital that businesses have an effective cooling method in place. Air conditioning is the most suitable solution to effectively and efficiently cool an entire office or building. They can be effectively positioned and sized to ensure that cooling needs are met.
Ref 1: The Telegraph (2016) ‘Staff should be sent home if workplace gets hotter than 30C, says MP’