18.05.2007

Working in hot and cold environments

A wbesite published by the Britsh Health & Safety Executive gives information
about how the temperature of the environment you work in can affect you and
advice on how to manage it.

Outdoor work places

When working outdoors the effects of the weather in this environment can
potentially have a very serious impact on an employees welfare if the risks
have never been previously considered or managed properly. This impact maybe
immediate or it occur over a long time period.

For example, exposure to the sun can cause skin damage including sunburn,
blistering and skin ageing and in the long term can lead to an increased risk
of skin cancer. Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the UK
with over 50,000 new cases every year.

People can avoid unnecessary exposure by such means as:

  • Wearing long sleeve shirts or loose clothing with a close weave;
  • Wearing hats with a wide brim;
  • More frequent rest breaks;
  • Taking breaks in the shade whenever possible;
  • Scheduling work to cooler times of the day; and
  • If possible, provide shade where work tasks are being undertaken.

Sun protection is important and people need to realise that sunburnt skin is
damaged skin. A suntan is not a sign of good health.

Indoor workplaces

You must provide:


  • a reasonable working temperature in workrooms usually at least 16°C, or 13°C
    for strenuous work (unless other laws require lower temperatures);
  • local heating or cooling where a comfortable temperature cannot be maintained
    throughout each work room (eg hot and cold processes);
  • thermal clothing and rest facilities where necessary, eg for 'hot work' or
    cold stores;
  • heating systems which do not give off dangerous or offensive levels of fume
    into the workplace
  • sufficient space in work rooms.

Furthermore the website informs about

  • Heat stress information
  • Cold Stress information
  • Dehydration information
  • Working in the sun information
  • Handling food in a cold environment information
  • What is the maximum/minimum temperature in the workplace?

Further info


AplusA-online.de - Source: Health & Safety Executive