Post Content

image of thermostatWith indoor heating systems working on overdrive this time of year, the Department of Labor Standards often fields calls about employer obligations for workplace heat in stores, offices, and other indoor businesses.

Private sector employers in Massachusetts are obligated by federal law (OSHA) to provide employment and a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm. Office temperature and humidity conditions are generally a matter of human comfort rather than these more serious hazards.

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 149, Section 113, requires that adequate heat be provided from October 15 through May 15. The following minimum temperatures have been established as guidelines* which can serve to assist employers:
• Factories 60 – 62°
• Foundries 50 – 60°
• Machine Shops 60 – 62°
• Offices 66 – 68°
• Public Buildings 60 – 68°
• Restaurants 62 – 66°
• Schools 66 – 68°
• Stores 65°
• Theaters 62 – 65°

Remember that workers who are working outdoors, on loading docks, or in cold storage do face acute safety risks due to prolonged exposure to cold temperatures.  Learn how to protect these workers.
*Guidelines developed based on ASHRAE 55-2013 “Thermal Environmental Conditions for Thermal Occupancy” and validated using the Thermal Comfort Tool developed by the University of California at Berkley’s Center for the Built Environment.

Written By:


Director of the Department of Labor Standards

Tags: ,

Recent Posts

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week posted on Oct 26

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

Hire only Licensed Lead-Safe Renovation Contractors to perform renovation, repair, or painting work if you own a home or operate a child-occupied facility built prior to 1978. National Lead Poisoning Prevention week is October 23-29, 2016. This year’s theme is “Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy   …Continue Reading National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

Fall River Career Center fulfilling Amazon’s need for workers posted on Sep 7

Fall River Career Center fulfilling Amazon's need for workers

FALL RIVER, MA, SEPTEMBER 7, 2016….When Amazon opens its new 1-million-square foot fulfillment center this month the online retailer will not be scrambling to hire new employees. The operation will be fully staffed with nearly 500 new hires recruited through the Fall River Career Center.   …Continue Reading Fall River Career Center fulfilling Amazon’s need for workers

YouthWorks Gives Teens Opportunities to Grow posted on Aug 10

YouthWorks Gives Teens Opportunities to Grow

BEVERLY, MA, AUGUST 1, 2016….. If 18-year-old Esmayle Gomez did not have a summer job planting crops at the Long Hill Farm in Beverly, through the YouthWorks program, he would most likely spend his days watching TV, playing on his phone, and eating junk food,   …Continue Reading YouthWorks Gives Teens Opportunities to Grow