Workplace Temperature Laws in NSW – Do you need to cool your office down?

workplace temperature laws australia nsw

Written by Craig Boyle on 21 Aug 2020

An overheated working environment during the Australian summer is not only unhealthy for your workforce but also reduces productivity. Hot offices are known to trigger lethargy, lack of focus, decreased motor skills and low mental performance in workers – taking a toll on your company’s bottom line and ultimately profits.


When the office air conditioner breaks, or if there is no air conditioning for the building, the summer heat in Sydney can become extremely unpleasant for office workers. One of the biggest concerns for employers and office managers is maintaining comfortable working temperatures and humidity when the mercury soars outside. This resource covers workplace temperature laws in Australia and NSW.

What are the workplace temperature laws in Australia and NSW?

There are no specific prescribed temperature or laws in NSW. SafeWork NSW guidelines state that a comfortable temperature for sedentary work in Australia is between 20°C and 26°C to prevent heat-related illnesses like heat rash, dehydration, exhaustion and cramps. Humidity is another factor that can affect productivity. Low humidity can cause nose, throat and eye dryness while high humidity results in higher levels of fatigue. The recommended range for optimum humidity is between 40% and 70%.

This guide from SafeWork NSW is a good resource to help employers and office managers better manage extreme heat at the workplace. The Work Health and Safety Code of Practice 2015 from the Australian Government also provides a comprehensive checklist for employers to ensure work environment and facilities safety across all areas – endorsing the same workplace temperature range as recommended by SafeWork NSW.

What if your office air conditioning system breaks down?

An air conditioning breakdown is a common issue for many NSW employers and office managers, especially in summer when the system works extra hard to keep indoor spaces cool. Though unpredicted, employers and managers may wish to find ways to keep their workforce comfortable.

One of the easiest ways to manage an air conditioning system breakdown is to hire temporary, portable air conditioners that help to maintain optimum workplace temperatures and employee productivity with minimal interruption to your business. Portable commercial air conditioners are the ideal solution for retail, office and industrial environments should the air conditioner break down since they can easily be delivered and installed on the same day.

Hiring a portable air conditioner is a fast an easy way to keep your office cool when the building A/C breaks down in summer

As a general rule of thumb, a standard 4.5kW portable air conditioner provides optimum cooling for a space of up to 30-sqm, so this should give you a good indicator of how many units you might need. You can also see our guide on how much it will cost to rent an air conditioner for more information. Bear in mind, certain sections like server rooms, isolated workspaces, separate cabins, and sun-lit areas may need additional air conditioning.  

What about hotter sections of the office?

One big point to note is that temperatures can be localised within the office, so some parts may be hotter than others. For instance, a desk or small cabin positioned in direct sunlight will be hotter than the rest of the office. Similarly, a cluster of heat-generating computers or server rooms can raise temperatures in a particular area.

The general recommendation is that air conditioning should reach all areas of the office. Also, you may need additional air conditioning for offices in full continuous sunlight. Portable air conditioner rentals are a great solution to mitigate these types of issues in the summer months since they tend to spot cool specific areas more efficiently than general air conditioners.

workplace temperature laws australia nsw
A cool office is a happy office during summer!


You can work out your specific cooling needs more accurately with the professional team at Precision Air Rental who will assess your space and give you a more precise idea of what you need, so you are able to maintain a safe and healthy working environment at all times.

Though there are no fixed workplace temperature laws in Australia and NSW, a cool and comfortable work environment makes complete business sense to maintain productivity. In the event of an issue with your building’s air conditioning or if you need to cool specific spaces, Precision Air Rental can help keep your workforce productive with no disruptions, no matter where you are in Sydney. We offer 24-hour replacement guarantee, 24/7 emergency call outs and fast delivery and installation, in addition to a reliable 100% up-time record to give you complete peace of mind.

Give us a call on (02) 9119 5975 or contact us below for more information.

Craig Boyle

Craig Boyle

Craig is the owner of Precision Air Rental and has been in the air conditioning industry for nearly 10 years. When your building is stifling hot in the middle of summer and you need help cooling it down, Craig and his team will come to the rescue!


Precision Air Rental

Precision Air Rental

Precision Air Rental offers temporary air conditioning products that cater to residential, commercial and industrial properties, and events.
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