Many of our members have had questions this week about indoor air quality standards in the classroom. “How cold is too cold?” is the most common question. And, earlier this week there was a glitch in the heating system at OHMS that left some rooms in the mid-40’s.
Unfortunately, neither OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) nor PESHA (the Public Employee Safety and Health Act which actually governs public schools) have indoor air quality standards which define minimum or maximum temperature in the workplace.
OSHA offers employers only guidance on the issue of office temperature.
As a general rule, office temperature and humidity are matters of human comfort. OSHA has no regulations specifically addressing temperature and humidity in an office setting. However, Section III, Chapter 2, Subsection V of the OSHA Technical Manual, “Recommendations for the Employer,” provides engineering and administrative guidance to prevent or alleviate indoor air quality problems. Air treatment is defined under the engineering recommendations as, “the removal of air contaminants and/or the control of room temperature and humidity.” OSHA recommends temperature control in the range of 68-76° F and humidity control in the range of 20%-60%.
You can read the complete OSHA interpretation letter by visiting this link:
We’ve developed a form which you can easily fill out to help us track temperature concerns in the building. Please take a moment to let us know about any extreme conditions in your classroom, or any problems that persist as the year continues.
If you walk into your room one morning and the temperature is below normal, contact your principal and building custodial/maintenance colleague first. Then, complete the health and safety/temperature report by visiting this site: