As a worker or employee, it is important to note that your welfare and working conditions are of high priority and it should be taken into consideration by your employer in order to maintain a motivated working environment and to ensure maximum productivity at work. One element that should be regarded as top priority is the optimum ambient thermal comfort of you and your colleagues.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the thermal comfort of a person determines the state of mind of them in terms of whether they are too hot or too cold. However, other factors like how strenuous are the activities being carried out at the workplace, personal clothing of workers and workplace space determines a person thermal comfort. It is the responsibility of your employer to ensure a balanced thermal environment at the workplace. It is left to you to make adjustments to your personal clothing when you are in a workplace to adapt to the conditions. Although it is difficult to actually measure the thermal comfort of people, your employer should be able to ensure they take note of complaints and discomfort ensuing from you and your colleagues.
The Health and Safety Executive finds it reasonable to have a workplace temperature of 16°C, if workers do not engage in strenuous activities at work, and 13°C if workers engage in strenuous activities at work. This corroborates with the fact that one should take into consideration, the amount of energy it takes to carry out activities at the workplace when trying to achieve a thermal balance for workers. For instance, in a furniture making company, workers are more likely to assert force and burn a lot of energy while they work. And typically, the body burns a lot of heat when strenuous activities are being carried out, it is however unreasonable to have a very hot workspace in a situation like that. The level of heat that would be felt would be extremely high.
Adopting the Health and Safety law at Work which states that; employers should ensure that they provide a comfortable workplace temperature and a well ventilated workplace space for their workers. This is one of the many ways your employer could meet the thermal needs of you and your colleagues, thereby ensuring that complications don’t arise during the course of production at the workplace. The thermal comfort workers get, from a balanced workplace temperature can ensure that they are able to focus on their tasks rather than on means to gain comfort.
Although the law doesn’t give a specific workplace temperature to adhere to, it’s however paramount that your employer ensures a balanced workplace temperature. Apart from avoiding the health complications that come with an unbalanced workplace temperature, there is a tendency to have an improved and healthy working spirit at the workplace thereby improving the level of productivity. An appropriate workplace temperature ensures a balanced state of mind of the workers and this improves focus, which in turn helps in achieving the best output.
Having problems with the temperature at your workplace? Have you had to listen to complaints from your colleagues? You could try having a chat with your boss, as well as your colleagues, you all could come up with ways to create a balanced workplace temperature that is comfortable for everyone.
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Tom Street qualified as a solicitor in 2003 and has over 20 years experience in employment and litigation law. He studied law at the University of Manchester before undertaking the legal practice course at the College of Law in Guildford, going on to complete his legal training at a firm in Chancery Lane, London. Once fully qualified, he moved to a niche litigation practice in the City of London.
In 2010, Tom set up his own legal practice, Tom Street & Co Solicitors and as part of this, in accordance with his strongly held objective to provide everyone with an easy pathway to justice he established the online portals Do I Have A Case? and Tribunal Claim. These websites are trading names of Tom Street & Co Solicitors.