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Heating and A/C...Suffolk County, NY New York New York

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  • Heating and A/C...Suffolk County, NY New York New York

    Hi, I'm back w/ another question! (I was here in February or so w/ questions about pay deductions........i'm no longer at that job! )

    I have been searching the "Laws of New York" website, but haven't found an answer, and haven't really found one here either.

    Is there laws about heating and air conditioning in workplaces?? Not so much heat now, but is there a law about what temperatures are "allowed" in workplaces (esp. w/o adequate ventilation!). If air conditioning has to be provided?

    My new job is a locksmith shop. The size of the store is 15 X 40 in a strip of stores. There's only 1 door in the front, and one 6 X 8 window next to that which is plate glass. (It's also a display window) There are no ceiling vents any other ventilatin to the outside. The boss has said he needs to save money and he has not put the A/C on. While it was only 75-78 outside, it went up to 87-90 in the store. It was unbearable. NO BREEZE what-so-ever comes in the door, and my "desk" is about 1/2 way into the store. From about 2 until closing (5), the sun comes in the window and that's when the temp really jumps in there. My 3 1/2 yr old son comes to work w/ me and I feel bad for him. I know kids feel it less than adults, but his cheeks were flushed and his ears were a little red. (He was still acting like a 3.5 yr old tho! LOL) What can I do?? On Thursday, my son and I went outside and sat in the shade for the last hour. (Too bad if the phone rang!) We have a 12" oscillating fan, but all it does is blow hot air around as there is no cooler air to be circulated.

    Today I said something, because we have rain/storms for the next day and it's been 80-100% humidity. I told him it was horrible in here, and he said exactly what I knew he would: "But you have the fan and the door is open" I explained it all to him, and just before he left to go on a job he said I could put it on. It stayed a nice 76-78 in the store w/ very little humidity!!!

    Oh yeah, did I mention he drove away w/ the AC on in his van?? (And if he didn't, I can guarantee he had the windows rolled down.... I dont' have windows!)

    Sorry for the long post.......does anyone know of any laws concering heat and or air conditioning??



  • #2
    I know kids feel it less than adults
    WRONG! Its just the other way around.
    Because of the much worse body mass to body surface ratio of kids, children or even small pets will get heatstroke A LOT easier than adults.
    The facial discolorations of your kid are a clear cut sign of heat induced distress, as the body tries to disapate heat by enlarging blood vessels in exposed parts of the body (-> red ears).
    A small child's or pet's body surface is much higher compared to its body mass.
    That means they give up heat that much easier in the cold (hypothermia), but also overheat faster when its hot & humid or dehydrate when its hot & dry (-> able or unable to sweat).
    There is a reason why people should NEVER leave small pets or babies in the car when its hot.
    They can die within a few hours of heatstroke even while the adults are still perfectly fine.
    So always give your kid PLENTY of water when its hot and make sure he/she gets enough ventilation to sweat of the excess heat.
    Your kid's body must maintain a constant core temperature or permanent organ damage will occur.
    Heatstroke is not a joke, its lethal!
    Last edited by pine; 06-03-2006, 10:41 AM.


    • #3
      Thanks Pine, for the info.

      It's been cool enough since that post that we haven't had the AC on, but it's going to be warm again this week, we'll see what happens.

      My BIL occasionally works there and he said he mentioned to the boss about it, saying it was like him driving around in his truck w/ the windows up and there's no breeze.

      We'lll see what happens this week.


      • #4

        No AC today. It's 10:45 and 74 in here. It's not bad in here. There is a nice breeze out, but you cannot feel it 3 feet inside the door. I had the AC on yesterday, it was 76 when I came in and the AC kept it at 76. The day before it was 71 at 10 am and by 5pm it was 83. It's more muggy today, and it's supposed to be in the mid 70's. Once again, last nite he said he's trying to save money. I've used the AC exactly TWICE. Heck I'd even settle for 78 or 79 w/ the AC. It only runs 15-20 min. ONCE an hour.

        I'm going to call the labour board today, to see if there is a law about how hot it can be in a store. Not that I'll use it against him, only as a last resort.

        I'll post back if I get an answer.


        • #5
          It would not be the labor board; it would be OSHA.

          But I think you'll find that the law does not dictate anything about employment temperatures. What about the guys who work in a foundry with a blast furnace going? What about the ones who have to install telephone wires in January?
          The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


          • #6
            There is no law in regards to this. I used to work in the office of a Heat Treat plant that had 15 industrial size furnaces. The temperature in the plant itself during the summer can get up to 120 degrees. Our office was directly above and over looking the plant with a glass window across the entire back of the office. Needless to say, it would get to be 90 or so in there as well, even with the AC on. We had to suffer on, and unless you find a new job, you will have to do the same.


            • #7
              What about the guys who work in a foundry with a blast furnace going? What about the ones who have to install telephone wires in January?
              That would be different and totally understandable. Those types of environments cannot really be controlled. An office building or retail store CAN. (Unless there is no AC to begin with) There are laws concering heating in both residental bldgs as well as schools. (albeit 64 in NYS schools). The law protects you from being too cold, why can't the law protect you from being too hot? Our bodies don't funtion in heat just as much as they dont' function in cold. At least when it's cold you can warm up easier than you can cool off.

              I will check out the OSHA website and give them a call. Thanks for the reply.


              • #8
                School regulations are entirely different. They do not apply to the workforce at large.

                There are no laws that require there be AC, let alone dictate that it must be used if there are.
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


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