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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 116701
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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I drive a State owned work van with a non-working air conditioner.

Customer Question

I drive a State owned work van with a non-working air conditioner. I haul mental health clients and some ARC folks. Is there a health a safety code that may require the State to provide a working air conditioner for the health of both the driver and the clients? It does seem that there should be. The mechanic at the psychiatric center says he don't know why it starts out cold and goes to warm in half hour or so and is useless . Shouldn't they(State) be willing to foot the bill by taking to an outside source to fix, for the health and safety of the very clients they haul? Excuses don't cut the mustard where people's health is compromised, by what ever excuse. I am really concerned as heat stroke is a real possibility , especially with people all ready on med and upper respiratory problems.Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.:
While it would seem to be common sense that if the van has air conditioning it should be working, there is no actual NY law mandating the van even have an air conditioner in it. So you cannot rely on the NY laws. What you can do is rely on the general provision in the OSHA regulations which states an employer must provide a safe and healthy work environment for employees and the failure to provide a working air conditioner in extreme heat when one is actually available would be something that OSHA could investigate as you could argue that not having a working air conditioner could actually cause the unit to overheat and catch fire so it is a safety hazard.
Otherwise, I am sorry to say that the NY laws are ancient and most were written before air conditioners were pretty much standard equipment and have not been changed yet.