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Legal Minimum Temperature in a Warehouse?

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 12 Feb 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Temperature Warehouse Health And Safety

Q.

Is there a legal minimum temperature for working in a warehouse?

(L Burns, 9 February 2009)

A.

An employer has a duty of care towards their employees and the responsibility of making sure that the workplace is a comfortable environment to be in. Every employer must comply by health and safety regulations that are in place to protect employees and make sure that their working conditions are in good order. They cannot expect you to work in an environment that is unsafe or bad for your health.

The government’s health and safety regulations state that employers must ensure that the temperature in the workplace is ‘reasonable’ at all times. In the accompanying code of practice it suggests that the temperature should be a minimum of 16 degrees Celsius unless the work involves a lot of physical activity where this can drop to 13 degrees Celsius. However, the guidelines take into account the varying nature of the ‘workplace’ and give some leeway for the fact that this may not always be possible due to the nature of the working environment. Therefore there is technically no single legal temperature that can be applied.

If you are working in a warehouse then it is likely that you will be doing a lot of physical activity and the guideline to use would be the 13 degrees Celsius. If you feel that the temperature in the warehouse is unacceptable then you have every right to ask for it to be raised. Use the guidelines above as your basis and find out what the current temperature is. If it is significantly less than 13 degrees Celsius then you will have a strong case for having it increased.

Your health and safety is paramount and you can refuse to do any work, without any action being taken against you, if you believe that your working conditions infringe your rights. Your safety executive or trade union representative should be able to help you make an official complaint to get the situation resolved. If this doesn’t do anything then you may want to think about reporting your employer to the health and safety executive who regulate working conditions and make sure that employees are being looked after fairly.

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Tink - Your Question:
Hi, I work in an opticians inside a large supermarket. My colleagues have bern provided with an uniform and undergarments. We don't do a physical job, lots of sitting at a desk and standing talking to customers. There is no heating in our department whatso ever, we have complained lots over the past 12 months and the maintenance company has been in to check the tempreture on several occasions and it is under 10c. Head office are aware of this but still nothing has been done to resolve the temp. We have vulnerable and elderly customers that sit in our department for on avarage 40 minutes at a time. Nearly all of our customers complain about the cold. Im not sure what next to do.Could you please advise?Thankyou in advance.

Our Response:
If you’re a worker and you’ve tried solving a problem or concern informally by talking to your manager but you’re not satisfied, you can make a formal grievance complaint in writing, please see link here .
WorkplaceSafetyAdvice - 13-Feb-18 @ 11:38 AM
I work in a place that processes meat (chix) upper management says that it has to be 32* although it's been 40+ but below 50* my feet n hands get to the point of being too cold to work sometimes, when I go on my break I'll sometimes stay a little bit loge to warm up, they give us a hard time about that n say they don't really have to give us breaks now I'm from MI n know the dangers of the cold, you also need food to help with body heat they just give everyone a hard time about it what is our rights we all need employment n know that it has to be cold in there to process the chicken, we are in those conditions for 8 hours a day, a lot of us are just standing in one place cutting or grading there is only your hands moving, my feet tend to get cold to the point of them hurting, n if you go use warm water to warm up then the supervisorsecond yelling that your not to leave the line
Maurie - 12-Feb-18 @ 10:10 PM
Hi, i work in an opticians inside a large supermarket.My colleagues have bern provided with an uniform and undergarments. We don't do a physical job, lots of sitting at a desk and standing talking to customers. There is no heating in our department whatso ever, we have complained lots over the past 12 months and the maintenancecompany has been in to check the tempreture on several occasions and it is under 10c. Head office are aware of this but still nothing has been done to resolve the temp. We have vulnerable and elderly customers that sit in our department for on avarage 40 minutes at a time. Nearly all of our customers complain about the cold. Im not sure what next to do . Could you please advise? Thankyou in advance.
Tink - 12-Feb-18 @ 8:29 PM
I am working logistics _0 what aver out side same in no solution work pales
Miney - 24-Jan-18 @ 11:25 PM
I have a cold and have to travel to work on a motorbike and work in a cold factory as they can't be bothered to sort the heating out at night I usually finish work at 2 in the morning and again have to travel home on my motorbike is this acceptable as my boss doesn't care and I'm scared he will sack me for it if i don't go in
Jordy - 18-Jan-18 @ 12:21 PM
my partner works in horticultural and works outside most of timeand this time of the year its freezingshould his boss provide a warm rest room they only have a filthy restroom with no heating which usually colder in there than outside there is no kettle or microwave also. workers also supply their own coats thermals etc. they are only given gloves by the boss . he has asked for a heater but to no avail .advice please
Flossie - 17-Jan-18 @ 6:45 PM
John doe - Your Question:
I work in a wearhouse that has no heating and a big shutter door we have to keep open at all times it becomes colder inside then it is outside. Iv mentioned the 13 degree law to my boss and he laughed saying it was rubbish, he says as long as they provide a warm canteen and thermal clothing it's fine. All the wearhouse men wear a thermal long sleave, the work top 2 thick jumpers and 2 jackets. As well as thermal trousers tracksuit bottoms and work trousers on top and we are still freezing. Is he correct in saying they have provided all they need to to keep us working?

Our Response:
HSE does not have specific guidance for working in temperatures below 13°C, please see link here for more information. You can read the terms and conditions in your company handbook which should make reference to this. However, if collectively you all feel the same, then perhaps you can complain collectively. You can see more about raising a grievance via the link here .
WorkplaceSafetyAdvice - 11-Jan-18 @ 9:55 AM
I work in a wearhouse that has no heating and a big shutter door we have to keep open at all times it becomes colder inside then it is outside. Iv mentioned the 13 degree law to my boss and he laughed saying it was rubbish, he says as long as they provide a warm canteen and thermal clothing it's fine. All the wearhouse men wear a thermal long sleave, the work top 2 thick jumpers and 2 jackets. As well as thermal trousers tracksuit bottoms and work trousers on top and we are still freezing. Is he correct in saying they have provided all they need to to keep us working?
John - 10-Jan-18 @ 2:20 PM
I work in a retail warehouse and it’s cold the temp sometime 55- 63 degrees and the other side is 45 degrees what should I do I asked to turn the temp up already. He turn it up to 62 so it won’t go by it.
Money - 4-Jan-18 @ 5:54 PM
I and others work in an approximate 10,000 square feet warehouse that is very high inside and has no heating for the workers at all. Is this legal should there be a minimum level of heat in this warehouse. B
Larry - 31-Dec-17 @ 5:27 PM
Wayne - Your Question:
Hi I work with meat in a fridge at 5 degrees all day does my employer have to supply me with warm work clothes ?

Our Response:
You can see more via the UNISON link here , which should help answer your question.
WorkplaceSafetyAdvice - 18-Dec-17 @ 2:08 PM
Hi I work with meat in a fridge at 5 degrees all day does my employer have to supply me with warm work clothes ?
Wayne - 17-Dec-17 @ 1:20 PM
I work in a good shop and the shop heaters are broke and the shop is always below 5 degrees , we aren’t supplied with heathers and we aren’t allowed to put our coats on as they are the only things that we can properly move in and keep us warm, do I have the right to refuse to work if I’ve shown proof of the shop temperatures
Ktrob - 16-Dec-17 @ 11:14 AM
Mark gregory- Your Question:
As a temp working in a warehouse with no heating at all the full time staff where all given warm clothes to wear but Temps did not sometimes it can be -10 in the warehouse what rites do I have

Our Response:
Regardless of whether you are a temporary worker, employers are obliged by law to make a suitable assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees, and take action where necessary and where reasonably practicable. Your employer's handbook should give some guidance regarding this and you can see more via the HSE site here . If you are a temporary worker, you may wish to complain to your agency in the first instance and request protective clothing.
WorkplaceSafetyAdvice - 14-Dec-17 @ 3:34 PM
As a temp working in a warehouse with no heating at all the full time staff where all given warm clothes to wear but Temps did not sometimes it can be -10 in the warehouse what rites do I have
Mark - 13-Dec-17 @ 6:21 PM
Aubrey - Your Question:
I work in a warehouse with no heating apart from a fan heater and it’s freezing should I be working in this weather

Our Response:
During working hours the temperature in all indoor workplaces must be reasonable, please see link here. It is something you would have to discuss with your employer directly and if the situation is not resolved and others in the workplace are also unhappy at the temperature then you can raise a grievance, please see link here.
WorkplaceSafetyAdvice - 12-Dec-17 @ 1:48 PM
I work in a warehouse with no heating apart from a fan heater and it’s freezing should I be working in this weather
Aubrey - 11-Dec-17 @ 6:40 PM
Doc - Your Question:
I work for a company that's employed by Mars (contract C°) the mars personnel are well cared for but we have to work the warehouse with no heating and little ppe temperature s are now freezing and below, could I walk out legally due to lack of care? There is no one capable or strong enough to discuss within my company the issues with Mars.

Our Response:
You can see more via the HSE link here, which should help answer your question further.
WorkplaceSafetyAdvice - 1-Dec-17 @ 10:40 AM
I work for a company that's employed by Mars (contract C°) the mars personnel are well cared for but we have to work the warehouse with no heating and little ppe temperature s are now freezing and below, could I walk out legally due to lack of care? There is no one capable or strong enough to discuss within my company the issues with Mars.
Doc - 30-Nov-17 @ 2:41 PM
It’s 4 degrees in my workplace (warehouse) should we be working in this temperature and should we be given Woolley hats etc
Danny - 29-Nov-17 @ 12:44 PM
Jay - Your Question:
Hi I work in a freezer at temp -21 packing goods and putting stock away been provided with freezer jacket but company will not provide proper trousers or boots now suffering with bad legs and knees.what can I do ?

Our Response:
If you have a specific question on how the health and safety law applies to a particular issue at your workplace, for which HSE is the enforcing authority and you cannot find the answer on its website, then you can complete an online advice form via the link here . Otherwise, if you have tried solving this issue informally with your employer, you may wish to put it in writing. If any of the other employees are feeling the same effects, then you may wish to put it to raise it with your employer as a group.
WorkplaceSafetyAdvice - 17-Nov-17 @ 12:43 PM
Hi I work in a freezer at temp -21 packing goods and putting stock away been provided with freezer jacket but company will not provide proper trousers or boots now suffering with bad legs and knees .what can I do ?
Jay - 16-Nov-17 @ 6:11 PM
What do you do if place of work is that cold you can bearly get heat inside of you when you come home after putting numerous layers on. Place wont pay to fix problem
Koko - 10-Feb-17 @ 11:01 PM
Hi we work in a refrigeration trim legs off pork. There is a fan blowing cold hair straight into our faces and it really cold to where to of us have caught a cold from it as is like a draft being on you all day.whats law on this
Ant - 8-Feb-17 @ 5:39 PM
If my company's workwear isn't keeping me warm enough can I wear my own clothes underneath my company uniform to keep warm.There uniform isn't warm enough so I put a hooded jumper under my tshirt that was company issue and I'm.being told to take it off even though they can see I'm freezing.Is there any way I can say this is not right my health is more important.
G - 23-Jan-17 @ 1:46 PM
i work in a retail store and it is -1 degrees and we are not aloud to close the door or get a heater as its to much to run is there any laws that i can go to my boss with and say i dont need to work or he / she has to supply a heater thanks
freddy - 23-Jan-17 @ 10:13 AM
I work in a warehouse on the top floor there are only 2 floors. But I work static at a table inspecting garments. We have no heating and have been told today that we won't be getting any heating at all. It is freezing. This will now be the 3rd year I have worked for this company with no heating. Is there anything I can do?
Mel1971 - 13-Jan-17 @ 6:54 PM
Bill - Your Question:
Hi. Thank you for your quick response. We did speak to management regarding the cold conditions. That's when we were told to turn off the blowers. Can you please tell me if 0 degrees with industrial blowers causing a wind chill is an acceptable temperature to work in? Thank you.

Our Response:
You're welcome. There’s no law for minimum or maximum working temperatures, eg when it’s too cold or too hot to work, just guidance. You can see the guidance via the TUC link here.
WorkplaceSafetyAdvice - 2-Dec-16 @ 12:43 PM
Hi. Thank you for your quick response. We did speak to management regarding the cold conditions. That's when we were told to turn off the blowers. Can you please tell me if 0 degrees with industrial blowers causing a wind chill is an acceptable temperature to work in? Thank you.
Bill - 1-Dec-16 @ 8:24 PM
Hi. Please could you advise me on my next step. I work in a steel works and in the cold weather condensation becomes a problem with the steel, management have come up with this ingenious idea to hire dehumidifiers and industrial blowers. The temperature in work today was 0 degrees with the wind chill factor from these industrial blowers it felt much colder. Management was informed about staff suffering with the cold and blowing conditions. We were told not alot can be done but to turn the blowers off when were operating a crane in front of them but we must turn them back on when we have finished working in front of them. We work in a dangerous environment and cold fatigue was affecting all shop floor workers. Any advice would be great thank you.
Bill - 1-Dec-16 @ 7:18 PM
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