What’s the hottest temperature for an office, what are the legal limits in the UK and how can you keep cool?

What's the hottest temperature for an office, what are the legal limits in the UK and how can you keep cool?

AS the UK prepares for hot summer temperatures many people will be heading into work on sweaty trains and busses.
Office workers have some rights enshrined in law but the rules and regulations might be different to what you imagined.
3 Hopefully office workers won’t need to resort to desperate measures to keep coolCredit: Getty – Contributor
What is the maximum temperature to work in an office?
The short answer is… there isn’t one.
The regulations under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations Act 1992) say employers must maintain a reasonable temperature where you work but there is no maximum temperature.
There is a minimum temperature of 16C, which falls to 13C if your work involves “considerable physical activity”.
The Health and Safety Executive adds: “A meaningful maximum figure cannot be given due to the high temperatures found in, for example, glass works or foundries.”
Those who work in food cold stores or bakeries can expect extremes of temperature as part if the job.
But generally, employers have a duty to “keep the temperature at a comfortable level” and provide clean and fresh air.
The TUC has called for the introduction of an upper limit on workplace temperature so that employers would be forced to act when the temperature inside reaches 24°C.
3 The TUC has called for a maximum temperature to be introduced for office workersCredit: Alamy
What can you do if you are too hot?
The health and safety executive state if a “significant number” of employees are complaining about the heat, your employer should carry out a risk assessment and act on the results.
If you’re a vulnerable employee – for example pregnant or menopausal, or you need to wear protective equipment so can’t take off layers – that has to be taken into account.
If you have to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) for your job the HSE recommends several other aspects to be considered, including allowing work to take place at a slower rate, rotate staff more frequently and allow longer recovery times.
Bosses have to ensure workers have access to fresh drinking water.
3 Bosses are expected to maintain a ‘reasonable temperature’ in the workplaceCredit: Alamy
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When and where was the hottest day in the UK, 2018?

Temperatures of 35C (90F) were recorded in Heathrow on Friday, July 27.
The scorching summer of 1976 was the hottest summer since records began.

But the single hottest temperature of 38.5C was set on August 10, 2003.

Can you leave work if it gets too hot?


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