The Regional Minister for Economic Model, Tourism and Employment has today published an instruction informing of the cases in which the occupational safety regulations prevail over the Royal Decree-Law on energy saving, in terms of the regulation of temperatures.
The instruction, which has been drafted with the technical advice of IBASSAL, recalls that, as has been the case until now, the environmental conditions of workplaces, such as temperature and humidity, are regulated according to Royal Decree 486/1997, which establishes “health and safety provisions in workplaces”, as the RDL on energy saving measures that will now come into force reminds us.
In this sense, RD 486/97 already states that the maximum threshold in non-sedentary occupations is between 14 and 25 degrees, depending on the activity and the occupational risk for its development. Likewise, in premises where sedentary work is carried out, such as offices or similar, the temperature will be between 17 and 27 degrees.
Therefore, it will be the companies, through their own or external prevention services, which will evaluate, in each case, the occupational risks of each job, and which will determine, for each job, activity and area, the appropriate temperatures that will guarantee the health and safety of workers.
More specifically, the instruction of the Regional Ministry gives examples of different cases, as a guideline, in which the prevention services will be responsible for setting the thermal thresholds:
Workplaces with high air temperatures (hot climate areas during the summer), such as in the kitchens of tourist establishments, hotels or restaurants.
Workplaces with high levels of humidity (laundries, canning factories, etc.).
Tasks involving intense physical activity. Again, kitchens, laundries, and canteens in restaurants and hotels fit in.
Workplaces with high thermal radiation (brick and ceramic factories, cement plants, ovens, bread bakeries, places with direct exposure to solar radiation…). Kitchens in tourist establishments, as well as engine rooms of technical maintenance personnel, also fit in this category.