Thermal Comfort in the Workplace

Thermal Comfort in the Workplace

All workers have the right to work in reasonable conditions and it’s the duty of employers and business owners to ensure that thermal comfort is optimised.

The Health And Safety Executive states that thermal comfort is affected by six factors: air temperature, radiant temperature, air velocity, humidity, clothing and metabolic heat.

Here’s a look at the HSE guidelines on ways for managers and business owners to manage temperatures to achieve thermal comfort in indoor workplaces such as factories and warehouses.


The workplace should be kept at a reasonable temperature (usually no less than 16 degrees C). Adequate heating and cooling systems are needed to maintain a comfortable air temperature and level of humidity.

The systems must comply with safety regulations and must not emit dangerous or strong-smelling fumes into the environment.

Employees must also have sufficient space to work comfortably.

In Hot Weather

Employers must ensure that workers have the following:

  • Proper ventilation
  • Access to fresh air such as open windows
  • Blinds to block direct sunlight and to reduce the glare from the sun
  • Choice of lighter clothes
  • Sufficient breaks for cold drinks and cooling down
  • Cold water dispenser
  • Air-cooling systems such as air conditioners and heaters with summer ventilation functions.

In Cold Weather

Employers must provide:

  • Adequate and safe heating systems that don’t interfere with the work-space.
  • Adequate draught proofing.
  • Insulated floor coverings in areas where workers need to work in colder spaces.
  • Sufficient breaks to get hot drinks.
  • Choice of insulated clothing.

If workers frequently complain about workplace temperatures then the thermal conditions must be monitored and registered in the risk management programme.

Winrow Building Services provides a range of reliable, cost effective and comfortable heating and cooling systems for industrial spaces including factories, warehousing and shopping centres. For more information on our range of heaters with incorporated summer ventilation features, contact us today by calling 08000 588 035.

Ben Winrow
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