As temperatures begin to drop it is important to consider the legal obligations employers have regarding minimum workplace temperatures.
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 (Ref 1).
This is further reinforced by the government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which stipulates a minimum workplace temperature of 16°C (or 13°C if work involves rigorous physical effort). If the temperature falls below this minimum the business could face legal action and be issued with a costly fine.
It is also important to remember that the minimum temperature of 16°C should be reached before employees start work. This can be achieved by installing a heating system with a functioning controller with a thermostat and timer.
Achieving this minimum temperature is beneficial: On average, employees spend eight minutes each day acclimatising to their office environment. In an office of 60 people this equates to a loss of 8 hours of productive time (the length of an average working day!)
Employers must consider their whole workforce and workplace to ensure that all employees are comfortable. Uneven room temperatures can mean one employee is comfortable whilst another feels cold.
Many commercial buildings use their air conditioning system to provide heating in the summer months. However this can be problematic as they usually blow warm air out from a centralised grille or unit – sometimes directly onto occupants below. This can create an uncomfortable draught and result in some people being too hold whilst others are still cold.
The Ingenious Air System can provide draught-free heating and cooling. Its unique air movement pattern and natural de-stratification ensures temperatures are consistent and even throughout.
To find out more, call today and speak to one of our dedicated advisers: 01268 544 530 / 0800 731 6352
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Ref.1: HSE (2013) Workplace health, safety and welfare, Health and Safety Executive, available at: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l24.htm [Accessed on 05/03/2016]