The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states that it shall be the duty of an employer to ensure (so far as is reasonably practicable) the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees. Under Regulation 3 of The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 the employer is required to assess the risks to workers and any others who may be affected by their work and record the significant findings of that assessment.
Although the law does not state a minimum or maximum working temperature, the Health and Safety Executive recommend that workroom temperatures should normally be at least:
- 16°C or
- 13°C if much of the work involves rigorous physical effort
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 lays down particular requirements for most aspects of the working environment. Regulation 7 deals specifically with the temperature of workplaces and states:
`During working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable.`
It is advisable and good practice that employees who work in extremely cold environments such cold stores, refrigeration or food warehouses are medically assessed for fitness to work within these extremes of cold. The purpose of a Cold Store Worker medical assessment is to ensure the employee does not have any medical condition which could expose them to a higher degree of risk or result in injury to themselves or others while working in these environments i.e. heart condition, circulatory disorders, respiratory health issues etc.
Cold Store Worker medical assessments take approximately 30 minutes and include:
- A confidential questionnaire
- Medical assessment in relation to working in cold store areas
- Blood pressure & pulse
- Lung function test
- Musculoskeletal assessment
- Report, restrictions and recommendations
- Anonymous statistics
Sources of Further information
- Health and Safety Executive guidance on working in excessively cold environments
- Working in a cold store - advice for employees from the British Frozen Food Federation
If you have any questions about Cold Store Medical assessments or any other occupational health services for your business in South Wales or the South of England, don't hesitate to call us on 01753 536773 or Contact us.