Employers Obliged To Heat Workplaces For Sedentary Workers To A Minimum Of 16 Degrees Celsius

11 Jan 2010

John McClean GMB National Health and safety officer said “GMB has had a large volume of calls from members and the public regarding the law on temperatures at work. Employers are obliged by law to heat inside workplaces for sedentary workers to a minimum of 16 degrees Celsius (63F) and for those who undertake physical work to a minimum of 13 degrees Celsius (58F). If the temperature drops below these levels the employer is obliged by law to bring in additional heaters to raise temperatures to the legal minimum requirements.

For those working outside the employer is obliged to undertake a risk assessment and where necessary provide appropriate thermal clothing and regular breaks for hot drinks. Those exposed to risks of falls in slippery conditions may need to be redeployed to suitable alternative work if gritting cannot be done or if the ice cannot be removed. Many GMB members in refuse collection and street cleaning for example have been moved to work with gritting teams.”