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What temperature is legally too hot to work?

When is it too hot to work?
When is it too hot to work?

Every year when there is a (somewhat short lived) heat wave, we get asked: “What temperature is legally too hot to work in?”

We would love to be able to tell you that you could! Sadly, this is not the case.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, cover temperatures in the indoor workplace. It places a legal obligation on employers to provide a ‘reasonable’ temperature in the workplace.

There is not a maximum temperature. This is due to the high temperatures found in, for example, glass works or foundries. Provided appropriate controls are present, it  is possible to work safely in these environments.

Other factors to consider other than air temperature, such as radiant temperature, humidity and air velocity, become more significant and the interaction between them become more complex with rising temperatures. If a significant number of employees are complaining about it being too hot and being in discomfort, then your employer should carry out a risk assessment, and act on the results of that assessment.

So, next time you think it is too hot to work in your office due to high temperatures, spare a thought for those who are working in industries which deal in constant high heat!

Also, just use it as a reason to get an ice cream all round!

If you want to read up more on the workplace regulations, you can find them here

If you have legal issues at work or at home and feel Sternberg Reed could help you, click HERE Or call us on 0208 591 3366

This article does not constitute legal advice and you should contact us directly if you are facing a similar situation.

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* Soulla Kokkinos, Andrew Crossley,  Julian Beard, Francecsa Clay.