It's “16 to 17 degrees” in Elisa's office: she wonders what the legal workplace temperature is.


You may have noticed that the mercury has dropped in recent days. This is also the case in the office where Elisa works, even outside. She contacted us through the orange button Warn us. At his workplace, it is 16 to 17 degrees. She works with a jacket and scarf. Her boss suggested that she buy an electric heater, but she wonders what he would guarantee about the temperature. What is the prescribed legal temperature?

There is a temperature range to respect, even if it is very cold in the middle of winter and very hot in the middle of summer. Your employer should analyze the situation and potential risks.

As for the cold, you should consider the air temperature and the workload represented by your position. For example, clerical work or driving a car is considered light physical work. On the other hand, a worker who climbs ladders, to cite a case, is hard physical labor. There is a standard.

Depending on your condition, the temperature should not be lower than:

  • 16 degrees for light work (Example: Iron)
  • 14 degrees for an average job (Example: Carpentry)
  • 12 degrees for heavy work (Example: Bunch)

If these temperatures are not respected, your employer must ensure that they are respected by increasing the heat. In cases where this is not possible, he may modify the working hours and conditions or provide you with clothing/equipment or hot drinks.

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