Working environment


Work places need to have sufficient quality of fresh or purified air. In many cases this can be achieved by opening windows and doors, but where necessary, mechanical ventilation systems should be provided and maintained to an appropriate standard.

Temperature – Indoor Workplaces

The temperature should allow for reasonable comfort during working hours, except where very high or low temperatures are necessary for the job, e.g. Cold store

  • Where the work environment requires less physical effort, such as an office, the temperature should be at least 16 °C
  • Where the work requires more physical effort, the minimum temperature can be reduced to 13 °C subject to other conditions such as humidity, ventilation, etc.

In hot or cold environments where the temperature moves from what is regarded as comfortable, the risk to the health of those individuals exposed increases.

Consideration should be given to personal and environmental factors, such as duration of exposure, clothing, body activity, ambient temperature, radiant heat and humidity etc.


  • To be suitable and sufficient to ensure people can work and move about safely. Natural light is preferable, although artificial lighting is acceptable. Where necessary, local or task lighting should also be used.
  • Where loss of lighting could pose a risk, e.g. emergency lighting, independently automatic lighting should be provided

Cleanliness and Waste Materials

  • Walls, floors and ceilings to be capable of being kept clean.
  • Waste material not to accumulate, but kept in bins etc.

Room Dimensions and Space

  • Workrooms should provide enough free space to allow people to freely access the work area and move within the workspace.
  • They should be free from the risk of tripping or striking objects, etc.

Condition of Floors and Traffic Routes

  • Floors and surfaces in workplaces shall be of a suitable construction for the purpose it is to be used for. It shall not be slippery or uneven and must have adequate drainage.
  • So far as reasonably practicable floors and surface shall be kept free from obstructions and any article or substance which may cause slip trips or falls.
  • There should also be barriers for any holes, edges and slopes.

Falls and Falling Objects

  • Secure covers or fencing shall be provided to prevent persons falling into a dangerous substance, tank, pit or structure or from where a person may fall 2 metres or more.

Windows, Transparent or Translucent Doors, Gates and Walls

  • Shall be adequately protected from breakage or made of a safety material. hey should be adequately marked to make them apparent.

Windows, Skylights and Ventilators

  • Opening, closing or adjusting of windows, skylights or ventilators must be able to be done in a manner that will not expose anyone performing the operation to risk their health and safety.
  • If window, skylight or ventilator projects below 800 mm from floor level and thereby creating a risk of collision a barrier shall be provided.

Ability to Clean Windows, etc and Safety

  • All windows and skylights shall be designed or constructed so they can be cleaned safely.
  • Suitable provision to be made for windows and skylights that cannot be cleaned from ground level, e.g. anchorage for ladders and safety harnesses.

Organisation, etc of Traffic Routes

  • Every workplace shall be organised in such a way that pedestrians and vehicles can circulate in a safe manner, this should be in the form of separation and clearly identified traffic routes.

Doors and Gates

  • Doors and gates shall be of suitable construction and design to avoid injury. This will include sliding upward opening or powered doors.
  • Two way opening doors shall be constructed to provide a clear view of the space on both sides.

Escalators and Moving Walkways

  • Shall function safely, be equipped with necessary safety devices and be fitted with easy identifiable and accessible emergency stop controls.

Last Updated on Wednesday, May 8, 2024