Workplace Temperature Regulations & Solutions

Most workplaces have days where people are complaining about the temperature, whether it’s because the air conditioning is up too high and they’re sat at their desks feeling the cold or working in an outdoor environment in the height of summer with the sun beating down on them while they go about their manual labouring.

What many employees, and some business owners, don’t realise is that there are a number of minimum and maximum working temperature regulations in place to ensure that workers are carrying out their duties – whatever they may be – in safe working conditions. If it’s too hot it or too cold it can have an effect not only on performance and productivity, but health, too.

Minimum working temperature regulations

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the minimum working temperature should be 16 degrees Celsius. This applies to the majority of indoor working including offices, retail and schools; although this is not an “absolute legal requirement” and is more of a guideline figure with the employer having a duty of care to determine when conditions become unsafe.

The only time this temperature may be allowed to drop below 16 degrees, while remaining safe to work, is if the duties require “rigorous physical effort” in which case the minimum working temperature is allowed to drop as low as 13 degrees Celsius.

Heating your workplace to meet minimum working temperature requirements

If it is a bit on the cool side in your workplace, but above the minimum temperature of 13 to 16 degrees Celsius, there are a number of options to help you warm the premises.

At Speedy we’ve got a number of highly effective products capable of warming your workplace to ensure that you don’t just meet the minimum working temperatures, but that create a comfortable working environment for all employees. These include:

Industrial infrared heater. Using high frequency heat waves to warm up an office or warehouse, the industrial infrared heater is a highly efficient workplace heating option with its twin 1400w infrared heating elements and two heat settings enabling you to warm small or large areas. Also a great option when it comes to helping to set plaster or dry paint.

Office heater. East to move into position because of its freestanding construction or just as easy to mount on a wall, hiring a portable electric heater such as a convector heater is a great way of warming an office to the perfect temperature. Weighing around 3kg you can move it into chilly parts of the office, emitting around 2kw of heat where you need it most.

Fan heater. A great option when you’re working in a temporary location or having your workplace heating system revamped, our fan heater is another highly effective and efficient portable electric heater. A quiet, small but powerful unit that has three adjustable settings and is easy to move, you can hire either 110v or 240v fan heaters from Speedy and benefit from 2.8kw of heat to bring the workplace temperature up.

Infrared swivel heater. Not all indoor workplaces are offices or shops, some are indoors but based in sheds, garages or professional workshops and they need heating too. Our infrared swivel heater is available for hire and can be wheeled around the space to where you’re working, delivering the heat where you need it rather than heating the open space you’re not in.

Propane forced air heater. With its variable output allowing you to control the temperature inside the workplace for more comfortable conditions, the propane forced air heater comes with a push button start for easy use and fast, effective heating.

Diesel indirect heater. Suitable for use in small, poorly ventilated areas the indirect heat means there is no moisture added to the air, instead delivering a steady flow of warm air to cooler areas of the workplace. Another key benefit of the diesel indirect heater is that it can be ducted meaning it can be kept out of the working area, delivering the heat in a more subtle way than having the heater taking up valuable work space.

Dehumidifier. Moisture in and around the workplace can make things very uncomfortable in the winter months with damp developing on areas that stay wet for any length of time. In order to prevent this developing on the carpets, floors and walls a dehumidifier is an excellent option, drawing in all of the moisture and then pumping it out to keep it out!  

The same minimum temperature regulations are in place for outdoor working as those for indoor duties. The minimum of 16 degrees Celsius remains a guideline for employers to work to with the option of delaying or postponing some outdoor work until conditions are more favourable; while in some cases the decision is made for you as materials such as concrete won’t set when it’s too cold (below five degrees Celsius) anyway.

Of course, being exposed to the elements creates a series of alternative risks including ice, wind and rain meaning employers have a slightly different obligation to protect their employees.

This doesn’t just apply to permanent outdoor work such as construction or traffic management; but also for temporary environments including outdoor catering and events often found in marquees, sheds or log cabins.

How to warm an outdoor working environment

It’s not always possible to warm up every outdoor working environment, but there are a number of ways to warm some locations, including these methods – all available from Speedy:

Marquee heaters. As the name suggests, a marquee heater is a method of keeping your tent warm in the colder months or cooling days. Put up for events the marquee itself might be great at keeping the wet weather out, but they need some help keeping it warm inside for guests and staff. Our Premier 170 Heater is a safe, efficient and quiet outdoor heater that is quick to warm up and circulates plenty of heat to keep things cosy.

Warehouse heaters. Some warehouses are notoriously chilly leaving staff reaching for the fleeces and coats when working in them. The LPG bin boxer heater is ideal for drying out buildings and warehouses while also adding a good amount of heat to keep the chill off and doesn’t require an electrical supply.

Maximum working temperature regulations

Unlike colder conditions there is no official guideline for maximum working temperatures as some workplaces generate their own levels of heat making it almost impossible to state a maximum temperature. However, employers can make a decision in certain cases, to suspend work in certain conditions (mostly in outdoor work environments), when the temperature gets too high for workers to perform their duties safely. One prime example in this case is with PPE equipment, where it is vital for the employee to wear the safety clothing but too hot for them to work safely, resulting in heat stress.

Employers should also look to provide their staff with items such as fans, shade in the form of blinds or curtains, hydration breaks and relaxed dress code where possible to ensure that staff remain cool.

Cooling your workplace for a comfortable working temperature

To help cool things down inside your workplace, making things much more comfortable in the process, Speedy have a number of options for you to purchase or hire, including:

Air conditioner. Available in a variety of sizes to suit your workplace, an air conditioner is the perfect way of bringing the temperature down. When you haven’t got one built into your place of work you’re often left to rely on fans, open windows and a good breeze – not all of which are always possible! With small, medium and heavy duty air conditioning units available you can cool everywhere from a small office to a warehouse, factory or even a marquee.

Evaporative coolers. Great for large rooms including offices, workshops, even pubs and hotels; an evaporative cooler is a powerful air conditioning unit that works with a continuous water feed to deliver what feels like a gentle breeze. Available in a choice of medium or large spec depending on the size of the premises.

Turbo fans. Another highly effective and quiet option to cool areas including gyms, warehouses, factories and offices; a turbo fan can be positioned and left to do its thing. Working off the same basic principle of a typical fan, the turbo fan is capable of cooling larger areas more effectively while the wheels and frame make it easy to move and position. 

Crowd cooler fan. A great option for cold indoor locations such as gyms that get very, very warm; a height adjustable crowd cooler fan can be positioned anywhere in the room delivering a steady flow of cool air while also being great for clearing any dust, dirt or smoke from the air.

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