- Hans Weber
- September 26, 2023
The Ministry of Health proposes lowering the minimum temperature for work
Prague – In response to the energy crisis, the Ministry of Health proposes lowering the minimum permitted temperatures in the work environment. On Monday, the government will discuss the draft amendment to the regulation on health protection at work. For example, for drivers, assembly line workers or cashiers, the temperature should drop from the current 18 to 16 degrees Celsius. It should drop from 20 to 18 degrees in the changing rooms, from 22 to 19 degrees in the washrooms, from 25 to 19 degrees in the showers and from 18 to 15 degrees in the toilets.
“The main reason for the proposal is to revise the legal framework in relation to the minimum temperature requirements in the workplace, taking into account the current situation, when in connection with the war conflict in Ukraine, there is a restriction and interruption of natural gas supplies, when a further increase and persistence of the energy crisis is expected, ” the ministry stated in the explanatory report.
The current set temperatures come from 2007. “It is a temperature below which no one is allowed to go. If it goes to a higher temperature, there is no problem at all,” Health Minister Vlastimil Válek (TOP 09) said about lowering temperatures on Thursday. According to him, the ministry consulted the proposal with hygienists and compared it with other countries. According to Válk, the recommended temperatures have not changed for a long time, so they do not reflect, for example, global warming.
“I assume that a number of facilities where, for example, there are old patients, bedridden patients, seniors in retirement homes, will simply have a higher temperature,” added the minister on Thursday. The change would then enter into force on the date of the announcement of the new government regulation.
This sets, for example, limits for noise, dust or vibrations, but also just heat or cold. For different classes of work, the work specifies both a minimum and a maximum temperature. The ministry is proposing a change for category 1 work, i.e. sitting with minimal whole-body activity, and category 2a sitting with light manual work. For category 1, which includes office, administrative or laboratory work, he proposes a drop from the current minimum temperature of 22 to 18 degrees. For category 2a, which includes, for example, drivers, cashiers or assembly of light parts, the temperature can drop from 18 to 16 degrees. It also depends on the method of ventilation and the thermal resistance of the clothing.
Due to the energy crisis, the Ministry of Industry and Trade also proposed a special decree in August, according to which the heating temperature of public spaces would be reduced in the event of a gas supply failure. For example, in centrally heated living rooms or offices, the temperature should be reduced to 18 degrees, in school classrooms to 19 degrees.
Temperatures determined by class of work:
|Job Class*||Minimum temperature||Minimum temperature design||Maximum temperature|
|AND||20 °C||18 °C||27 °C|
|IIa||18 °C||16 °C||26 °C|
|IIb||14 °C||unchanged||32 °C|
|IIIb||10 °C||unchanged||26 °C|
|IVa||10 °C||unchanged||24 °C|
|IVb||10 °C||unchanged||20 °C|
|IN||10 °C||unchanged||20 °C|
*definition of work class according to the influence of microclimatic conditions:
Temperature in sanitary facilities:
|Device||Minimum temperature still valid||Suggested minimum temperature|
|Locker rooms||20 °C||18 °C|
|Washrooms||22 °C||19 °C|
|Showers||25 °C||19 °C|
|Toilets||18 °C||15 °C|
source: material for government meetings
government health energy work temperature