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Working Conditions: Temperature

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance or regulations the Health and Safety Executive has made for the maximum and minimum acceptable temperatures in which people can work. (143584)

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 require employers to provide a reasonable temperature in all indoor workplaces. These Regulations are accompanied by an Approved Code of Practice and guidance. HSE recommends a lower temperature of 16 degrees Celsius unless the work involves severe physical effort in which case the temperature should be at least 13 degrees Celsius.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 also require employers to undertake a risk assessment, which includes assessing the risks of working in very hot or cold workplaces. Where risks are identified, proportionate action must be taken by the employer to meet the legal requirements.

Further guidance and advice is available on HSE’s website covering a wide range of sectors. It also provides a step-by-step approach to help employers and employees manage excessive temperatures in the workplace including guidance on how to avoid heat stress, (http://www.hse.gov.uk/temperature).