Please select a letter from the A-Z list below:
So much of our time is spent at work that it
is important we feel comfortable when we are there and this doesn't
just mean having an adjustable chair or somewhere to get a drink.
Being too hot or too cold whilst at work can not only make the day
feel very long but can also be very tiring.
The Workplace Health and Safety Welfare
Regulations cover workplace temperature and states: 'workrooms'
should normally be at least 16 degrees Celsius unless much of the
work involves severe physical effort in which case the temperature,
should be at least 13 degrees Celsius'. However, they then go
on to say: 'these temperatures may not, ensure reasonable
comfort, depending on other factors such as air movement and
Everybody is different, some of us feel the
cold and some of us don't and with the majority of us sharing
offices it can be very difficult to get the temperature just right
to suit everyone.
HSE guidance refers to workplace temperature
as 'Thermal Comfort' which they themselves admit is very difficult
to define. To ensure people are comfortable involves the
consideration of a range of environmental and personal factors with
a thermal environment that satisfies the majority (80%) of people
in the workplace the best that realistically can be achieved.
The University also experiences problems which
can occur as a result of the age of some of our buildings and the
use that we now put them to. Some windows may be small and
rooms clearly not designed to accommodate the range of heat
generating electrical equipment, let alone the number of people
being taught or working on PCs in an office. Conversely,
whilst we have taken great strides to improve heating and reduce
heat loss through improved insulation in windows, walls and roofs
some of us may still find themselves too cold rather than too warm
at certain times of the year.
So, to get the facts straight:
- The HSE normally expects
temperatures of over 16 degrees Celsius however,
- By law in the UK there is no
legal maximum although in the publication ‘Thermal Comfort in the
Workplace’, the HSE seeks to define thermal comfort levels, and
states: 'An acceptable zone of thermal comfort for most people
in the UK lies roughly between 13°C (56°F) and 30°C
- To ensure that we try to
best manage temperature in our buildings, we have a Thermal Comfort Policy
It is important that we try to
manage thermal comfort within teams as everyone has different
preferences hot or cold and it is also of great importance that we
all take some actions to help ourselves.
Improving your Thermal
- Add or remove layers of clothing depending on how hot or cold
- Wear suitable fabrics eg cotton in hot weather and a woolly
jumper in winter.
- Use window blinds (if available) to cut down on the heating
effects of the sun.
- Use a desk or pedestal fan to increase air movement.
- Use heaters to warm up in the winter - however always remember
to turn them off.
- Open windows to increase ventilation if you are too hot.
- If you are too warm drink plenty of water and if you are too
cold have a warm drink.
Where these actions are not sufficient and in accordance with
the Thermal Comfort policy, concerns should then be reported to the
Facilities Helpline firstname.lastname@example.org