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Question
Posted by: SR | 2010-10-12

Help! Office is TOO cold!

Hi there, I am a young woman working in at a very large corporate in Gauteng. We work in IT, and we all have open plan seating with cubicles. The problem is that the central heating is FAR too cold (for me). It is definitely well below 25 degrees where i am sitting. Today it is 35 degrees outside and here i am at my desk with a coat wrapped over my skirt and a long winter jersey on my shoulders. I am all curled up so i can stay warm! I often hunch because i want to retain some heat. This i believe has caused a chronic back spasm around my shoulders and neck and between my shoulder blades. I think this chronic spasm is also the cause of my daily headaches. I have tried turning up the aircon dial to 25 degrees and then either the aircon gets too hot or the menopausal women complain about the " heat" . Its very strange that the office is deadly freezing in the mornings and then by 15:00, its like 30 degrees in here - so clearly there is a problem with the aircon system. we have lodged complaints about this to management who gets someone to " fix"  the aircon but NOTHING changes. It is always either too hot or too cold. What must i now do? Just wear socks and jackets all summer? I cant move my workstation as there are no more free ones on my floor. I tried taping the aircon vent closed, but thats really not allowed. We arent even allowed to bring a mini fan heater with us to put under our desks, some people do anyway though, but it isnt permitted. I dont know what to do. I literally cannot fucntion because of the cold. Sorry for such a long post.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageWorkplace health expert

Hi, yes there are things you can do. Legally you should have both a Safety Committee and a Health & Safety Rep. Bring the matter FORMALLY to their attention. They must table it for attention. This would include a survey/measurement of the Heating and Ventilation in the building. If there is no joy by way of this avenue contact Occupational Health experts such as OCSA ( Occupational Care SA, Head Office:  (011) 803-3538,  (011) 803-8305, or the Dept. of Labour.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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