Allowing Space Heaters In The Workplace

March 1, 2022

coworkers warming up hands over electric heater at office in winter

With the temperatures fluctuating drastically each day, you may be finding that it’s becoming harder to stay warm at work. Thermostat wars begin, and pleasing everyone is nearly impossible, so you might be wondering what as a business you can do to keep your employees happy without it costing you excessive HVAC bills. =

One solution to this problem is to allow personal space heaters. When used correctly, space heaters are a completely safe tool to have at work. There are no federal workplace regulations prohibiting them, and OSHA says that so long as they are used correctly, and properly labeled they are fine. However, if this is something you are considering for your workplace, there are some things to keep in mind:

  • Cost: Depending on how many space heaters you have, what kind they are, how often they run, and where they are placed, having space heaters may not be more cost efficient than running your HVAC.
  • Guard: Choose a heater with a guard around its heating element, and never leave it unattended to help prevent accidents from happening.
  • Size & Placement: Make sure the heater is away from other objects, and is the correct size for the space you want to heat.
  • Purpose: Don’t use the heater inappropriately to do things like dry clothes, or thaw pipes. This could lead to a fire or other workplace incidents.
  • Chords: You don’t want chords running all over your office. This looks messy and is a tripping hazard for your employees.

Remember, the heating elements in a space heater are hot enough to cause nearby combustibles to ignite, so it is important to implement proper safety measures and train your staff to follow them. For more information on staff safety training or facility management, check out our other blog posts, or call us at 210-495-1950.