Temperature at work in winter
The employer is obliged to ensure the right temperature in the workplace. It should be adapted to the nature of the work to be performed, namely the type of methods and the physical effort involved. What temperature should the employer guarantee in winter?
Temperature at work - offices
As a rule, the temperature at the place of work should not be lower than 14 ℃, unless the technological conditions do not allow it. The temperature requirements in work rooms are regulated by the provisions of § 15 and 30 of the Regulation of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy on general provisions on health and safety at work. In offices and in rooms where light manual work is performed, the temperature in the work room must not be lower than 18 ℃.
Work performed outdoors
The law also protects against the adverse effects of low temperatures when working outdoors. Employees who work outdoors should have rooms near the workplace that allow employees to shelter from rainfall, warm up and change clothes. These premises should be equipped with devices for heating meals. The temperature in the rooms must be at least 16 ° C. In the event that, due to the types of work performed outside the premises in winter, it is not possible to provide the described premises, provide employees in the vicinity of their work place with appropriate heat sources, while maintaining fire protection requirements.
Other obligations of the employer during the winter season
Employers are obliged by law to provide employees with hot preventive meals in the winter. It depends on the conditions in which they work, outside temperature and physical effort related to the work performed. The rules of issuing or preparing preventive meals are determined by the employer in agreement with the company trade unions. If there is no workplace trade union organization in a given establishment, the employer shall establish a list of positions after obtaining the opinion of the employees' representatives, where the employed employees will be entitled to preventive meals.
The employer is obliged to provide hot prophylactic meals when the employee performs work related to physical effort, causing the body's energy expenditure over 1,500 kcal (6,280 kJ) for men and over 1,000 kcal (4,187 kJ) for women during the shift, performed in the open space during the winter period. The winter period for the purpose of dispensing preventive meals is from November 1 of a given year to March 31 of the following year. It is worth emphasizing that, due to their intended use, preventive meals cannot be replaced with a cash equivalent, even with the consent or on the initiative of the employee. Preventive meals are primarily used to replenish the employee's energy reserves, therefore they can only be provided in kind.