In an office or any other place of work, employees must be kept at a constant, comfortable temperature. It’s an employer’s responsibility to ensure that their employees are happy in the workplace, and a comfortable temperature environment all year round can help boost morale, not to mention keep workers healthy.
Draughts in the workplace are not just an annoyance, but they can actually cause more substantial issues that you may not have considered. As winter settles in and the temperature drops, it’s crucial to think about draught management in your place of work. Here’s why draught management is essential, what your legal requirements as an employer are, and how draughts can be easily managed.
Why is Draught Management Important?
Aside from the annoying chill that people feel when in a draughty room, did you know that draughts can actually have an adverse effect on people’s health? Constantly sitting in a room with a draught can cause a person to involuntarily contract their muscles, which can eventually cause stiffness and result in muscular pain and discomfort.
A knock-on effect of this discomfort is a reduction in work output from your staff, as well as a lowered morale. No one wants to work in an uncomfortable environment, and your workers certainly won’t be able to perform their best if they’re experiencing muscle pain and discomfort whilst working. Therefore, if your workplace is experiencing issues with draughts, it’s important to be fully aware of this and implement solutions as soon as possible.
As an employer, you do have legal obligations when it comes to the thermal comfort of your employees. In an indoor workplace, the temperature in workrooms should be “reasonable”, at least 16°C or 13°C for strenuous work. When workers are too cold, you should reduce cold exposure by designing processes that minimise exposure to cold areas where possible and reduce draughts where there are any.
How Can Workplace Draughts be Managed?
Draughts can be easy enough to fix once you’re aware of their source. It’s merely a matter of blocking up holes that are allowing warm air out. Obvious gaps to seal up are around windows, under doors and gaps between floorboards. Simply place a hand near places you think might be causing draughts and see if you can feel any airflow coming through. If you can feel a draught, that could be a spot to block up.
However, the catch-22 is that the workplace still needs plenty of ventilation to prevent mould developing. So, you’ll need to balance draughtproofing and ventilation, by blocking up draughty spots but without preventing air from being able to circulate through a room. Ventilation can be achieved with the like of trickle vents, extractor fans and mechanical ventilation.
Air Conditioners and Heaters
Air conditioners and heaters are a great way to keep a workplace at a comfortable, consistent temperature. You can pick the ideal temperature to suit the environment, and the units will keep the air at this constant temperature so no one should feel too cold or too warm.
Wall Mounted units, for example, can provide rapid cooling and heating to ensure the space reaches the required temperature in minimum time and with maximum efficiency. When placed strategically around a workplace, you can keep an entire building, factory or warehouse at a consistent and comfortable temperature for your employees.
At Heritage Heating and Cooling, we provide an extensive range of cooling and heating units to suit a wide range of needs. If you have limited space, we have space-saving wall mounted and ceiling cassette models that will be out of the way on the wall or ceiling of a room and not taking up any valuable space. If you own a factory or warehouse, we have units specifically designed for these kinds of environments, able to provide cost-effective heating and cooling to even the largest of spaces.
We also have air curtains. Air curtains provide an effective barrier that minimises the loss of warm air through opening doors. They can reduce heat loss by up to 80%, and are ideal for all shops, warehouses, cold rooms and factory environments, where they can improve the efficiency of warm air heating.
If you’d like to learn more about heating and cooling in the workplace, do not hesitate to contact us to learn more or find out about any of our heating and cooling units such as our industrial heating systems.