How cold does it have to be in Hampshire before you can go home from school or work?
FREEZING cold temperatures and icy conditions are set to continue, according to the latest forecast.
Overnight the mercury plunged below zero across the Portsmouth area and a yellow weather warning remains in place this morning.
If you felt the freezing temperatures while going to work or taking your children to school and wondered how cold it has to be before you can go home. Here's what you need to know:
How cold does it have to be for school to close?
The Education (School Premises) Regulations Act 1999 introduced minimum standards for temperatures in schools in the UK.
Which should be measured at 0.5 metres above floor level.
These depend on what part of the school a room is in and what it is used for:
- Lower than normal level of physical activity, eg sick rooms – should be minimum 21C
- Normal level of physical activity, eg classrooms and libraries – 18C
- Higher than normal levels of physical activity, eg gyms and drama workshops – 15C
Classrooms should be at least 18C as children are less able to withstand low temperatures than adults.
If there are issues with the boiler/ heating system during cold weather and a school is unable to reach the above temperatures, then headteachers may have to take the decision to close the school.
Here's what the Government say about work place temperatures
During working hours the temperature in all indoor workplaces must be reasonable.
There’s no law for minimum or maximum working temperatures, eg when it’s too cold or too hot to work.
However, guidance suggests a minimum of 16ºC or 13ºC if employees are doing physical work.
There’s no guidance for a maximum temperature limit.
Employers must stick to health and safety at work law, including:
- keeping the temperature at a comfortable level
- providing clean and fresh air
Employees should talk to their employer if the workplace temperature isn’t comfortable.