Are you currently shivering in the staffroom or chattering at your keyboard? As storm Emma approaches temperatures across Western Europe are plummeting with some parts of the UK and Ireland set to feel as cold as the Arctic Circle.
If you haven’t been given a snow day make sure that you stay warm while at work. Simple things like having dry shoes to change into when you get to the office and plenty of warm drinks at hand can make a huge difference.
But did you know that your employer has a duty of staff care which includes providing a safe, comfortable workplace?
According to the Health and Safety Authority in Ireland, the guideline ”minimum comfortable working temperature for indoor sedentary workers” is 17.5°C.
While this is not a legal requirement, it might be worth asking your boss if you can work from home if temperatures drop below this level.
The Health and Safety Executive in the UK states that employers are legally obliged to provide a “reasonable” temperature in the workplace, under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
According to its Approved Code of Practice, a workplace should be at least 16°C, or at least 13°C if a person’s work involves physical effort.
The official government website,says: “During working hours the temperature in all indoor work places must be reasonable. There’s no law for minimum or maximum working temperatures, e.g. when it’s too cold or too hot to work.”
While these rules aren’t set in stone they are definitely something that employers will have to take on board over the next couple of days.
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