Workplaces may be colder than before, the Ministry of Health suggested in a regulation

The minimum temperatures allowed in the working environment may be lower than before. Due to the energy crisis, the government approved the relevant regulation prepared by the Ministry of Health on Monday. The Straka Academy announced this on its website.

According to the regulation, the lowest permissible temperature for drivers, assembly line workers, or cashiers is to drop from the current 18 to 16 degrees Celsius.

Showers will be allowed to drop from 20 to 18 degrees, locker rooms from 22 to 19 degrees, washrooms from 22 to 19 degrees, and toilets from 18 to 15 degrees.

“The main reason for the proposal is to revise the legal framework about the minimum temperature requirements in the workplace in light of the current situation, where natural gas supplies are being restricted and interrupted in connection with the war in Ukraine and where the energy crisis is expected to increase further and persist,” the ministry said in the explanatory memorandum to the regulation.

The currently established temperatures are from 2007. According to Health Minister Vlastimil Válek (TOP 09), his office consulted with health officials and compared it with other countries. According to the proposal, the change will come into force on the day of the promulgation of the new government regulation.

The regulation sets both minimum and maximum temperatures for different classes of work. The ministry proposes the change for category one work, i.e., sitting with minimal whole-body activity, and category 2a sitting with light manual handwork.

Category 1, which includes office, clerical or laboratory work, proposes a drop from the current minimum temperature of 22 to 18 degrees.

For category 2a, which includes, for example, drivers, cashiers, or light parts assembly, the temperature may 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 particular decree in August that would reduce the heating temperature of public areas in the event of a gas supply failure.

For example, the temperature in centrally heated living rooms or offices is to be reduced to 18 degrees, in school classrooms to 19 degrees.