Workplace temperatures

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 contain regulations relating to the temperature of the workplace.

Workers are entitled to expect the temperature to be reasonable and should be provided with a thermometer to assess levels inside.

An acceptable zone for thermal comfort for most people lies within 13°C and 30°C. If the activities that are being undertaken are more strenuous then cooler temperatures would be acceptable. In an office environment, for secretarial work the temperature should be at least 16°C. There is no maximum limit set under the regulations.

If the workplace is too hot or too cold then employers should attempt to improve the temperature. This can be achieved in many different ways.

When it's too hot you could:

  • Provide an air cooling systems
  • Increase ventilation by providing fans and opening windows
  • Block out sunlight
  • Provide cold water dispensers
  • Change working hours to avoid high temperatures

When it's too cold you could:

  • Increase levels of heating
  • Remove draughts
  • Provide appropriate protective clothing

Updated: 11 August 2009