Thermal Comfort in the Workplace
Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
Regulation 7 of these Regulations deals specifically with the temperature in indoor workplaces and states that:
- During working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable.
- However, the application of the regulation depends on the nature of the workplace i.e. a bakery, a cold store, an office, a warehouse.
The law does not state a minimum temperature, but the temperature in workrooms should normally be at least 16°C, or 13°C if much of the work is physical.
Where the temperature in a workroom would otherwise be uncomfortably high, for example because of hot processes, the design of the building, or the amount of glazing subject to direct sunlight, all reasonable steps should be taken to achieve a reasonably comfortable temperature, for example by:
- insulating hot plants or pipes;
- providing air-cooling plant;
- shading windows;
- sitting workstations away from places subject to radiant heat.
Compliance with health and Safety Regulations
Window film can reduce Solar Heat Gain by up to 80% - providing a more comfortable working environment for employees.
It can act as a passive control measure to help achieve compliance of Regulation 7 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
Achieve more than just compliancy
Solar glare and summer heat gain can adversely affect both an employee’s concentration and their productivity. The working environment is estimated to be responsible for 24% of job satisfaction, and as such is an asset to be monitored and controlled.
Historically, there has been focus on improving the efficiency of buildings (their design and climate control systems) in order to drive down overall occupancy costs.
Recently however, there is a greater focus on effectiveness - improving the way that people work. The aim is to get the most from the employees; after all, they are arguably a company’s greatest asset and are where most money is spent.
The Graph below is based on research by Helsinki University of Technology “Effect of Temperature on Task Performance in Office Environment.” It shows how relative productivity changes with temperature.
Source: Productivity Science.com
Scientific studies confirm that indoor temperatures can significantly impact on worker productivity. Although there are slight differences over what is believed to be the “optimum” temperature, they concur that it lays within one or two degrees of an optimal “comfort zone” of 21°C to 23°C.
For more information on thermal comfort in the workplace, please visit:www.hse.gov.uk/contact/faqs/temperature.htm
ARC Advice Service
With a combined experience of over 40 years in the window film industry, the ARC team are here to help with any enquiry.
Contact us on 0333 800 2 400 for business focussed advice on the benefits of window film and improving the thermal comfort in your organisation.