OSH Answers Fact Sheets

Easy-to-read, question-and-answer fact sheets covering a wide range of workplace health and safety topics, from hazards to diseases to ergonomics to workplace promotion. MORE ABOUT >

Download the free OSH Answers app
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

Search all fact sheets:

Type a word, a phrase, or ask a question

Temperature Conditions - Legislation

What does the legislation state about temperature conditions at work?

In some cases, legislation provides a range of acceptable temperatures for specific circumstances. In other cases, occupational health and safety jurisdictions use the Threshold Limit Values® for heat stress or cold stress as published by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). Some Canadian jurisdictions have adopted these TLVs as occupational exposure limits and others use them as guidelines.


What does the legislation require?

A summary of legislation concerning temperature is provided below. This list does not cite the exact text of each section. In all cases, consult with your jurisdiction to confirm what legislation applies in your situation, and that the most current legislation is applied. A list of contact information for all Canadian occupational health and safety jurisdictions is available.

Table 1
Canadian health and safety regulations with respect to thermal conditions in the workplace

Jurisdiction

Regulation

Temperature
(This list does not cite the exact text of each section

Canada, Federal

Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations

Section 9.9: personal service room and food preparation area: 18°C minimum/29°C maximum
NOTE:  personal service room means a change room, toilet room, shower room, lunch room, living space, sleeping quarters or a combination thereof
Section 14.9(2): motorized materials handling equipment, operators' compartment: 26°C maximum
Section 16.10(2)(b) First aid room: 21°C to 24°C

National Joint Council (Public Service Canada)

Occupational Health and Safety Directive

Section 2.2 Environmental Conditions: Ideal range between 20-26°C. Temperatures between 17°C and 20°C and above 26°C can be uncomfortable, and occupancy in each of those extremes should not exceed 3 hours daily or 60 hours annually.
Humidex 40°C maximum (as measured at workstation)

British Columbia

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations

Heat: Sections 7.27 to 7.32: current ACGIH TLVs®
Cold: Sections 7.33 to 7.38: current ACGIH TLVs®

Alberta

(Guidelines only)

 

Saskatchewan

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations

Section 6-7: Thermal conditions: Provide and maintain measures to protect workers, and offer reasonable thermal comfort to workers

Manitoba

Workplace Safety and Health Regulation

Section 4.12: Thermal Stress: current ACGIH TLVs® for heat and cold exposure
Section 4.13: Thermal Conditions – indoor workplaces: appropriate to work being done

Ontario

Occupational Health and Safety Act

Clause 25(2)(h): General duty clause
Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development fact sheet on heat stress  refers to the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for Heat Stress and Heat Strain published by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). These values are based on preventing workers’ core body temperatures from rising above 38°C.

Construction Projects Regulations

Section 260(3)(d): Change room for underground workers, 27°C minimum
Section 357(7): Medical locks, minimum of 18°C
Section 380 (2): Air lock used for people, maximum of 27 °C. Also see Section 384: No work at temperatures greater than 27°C  and when the temperature at the entrance to the service shaft is above ground, nor , 38 °C maximum

Industrial Establishment
Regulations

Section 129. Enclosed workplace, minimum of 18°C.

Quebec

Regulation respecting occupational health and safety

Sections 116 to 120: Heating Environment – Appropriate temperature considering the work being done. Section 118: Lunch rooms - minimum temperature of 20 °C (but does not apply to facilities used as offices)
Sections 121 to 124: Heat Stress
Schedule IV: Standards of Temperature in Establishments. Minimum depends on work being done (e.g., heavy work 12°C; light work 20°C)
Schedule V: Evaluation of Heat Stress – Outlines work/rest schedule and Wet Bulb-Globe Temperature (WBGT) equations.
Section 154: Change rooms minimum - temperature of 20 °C

New Brunswick

General Regulations

Section 21: In an enclosed place of employment, minimum depends on work being done (e.g., heavy work 12°C; light work 20°C)
Section 22: Extremes of Temperature: 1997 ACGIH TLVs® for heat and cold exposure

Nova Scotia

Workplace Health and Safety Regulation

Section 2.1 and 2.3: current ACGIH TLVs® for heat and cold exposure (physical agents)

Prince Edward Island

General Regulations

Section 11.10 and 11.11: In an enclosed place of employment, minimum depends on work being done (e.g., heavy work 12°C; light work 20°C). Exceptions apply.
Section 11.9: relative humidity in an office environment must be minimum of 30%
Section 42.1: Extremes of temperature - current ACGIH TLVs® for heat and cold exposure

Newfoundland and Labrador

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations

Section 44: Reasonable and consistent with the nature and degree of work performed, as established by current ACGIH TLVs®
Section 566: Refuge station to be at minimum 10°C

Northwest Territories

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations

Section 74: Thermal conditions. Appropriate to nature of the work, effective protection of worker health and safety, and reasonable thermal comfort

Mine Health and Safety Regulations

Sections 9.57 to 9.62: Program required when thermal conditions and nature of work can cause distress. 1994-1995 ACGIH TLVs®.

Nunavut

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations

Section 74: Thermal conditions. Appropriate to nature of the work, effective protection of worker health and safety, and reasonable thermal comfort

Mine Health and Safety Regulations

Sections 9.57 to 9.62: Program required when thermal conditions and nature of work can cause distress. 1994-1995 ACGIH TLVs®.

Yukon Territory

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations

Section 5.75: Conditions specific to tower cranes

Occupational Health Regulations

Section 9: Thermal environment. Reasonable and appropriate to the work performed.
Section 12: Heat Stress


Where can I find more information?

Document last updated on November 30, 2021

Add a badge to your website or intranet so your workers can quickly find answers to their health and safety questions.

Disclaimer

Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy, currency and completeness of the information, CCOHS does not guarantee, warrant, represent or undertake that the information provided is correct, accurate or current. CCOHS is not liable for any loss, claim, or demand arising directly or indirectly from any use or reliance upon the information.