California has been cracking down on farms that don’t provide outdoor workers with enough water and shade on hot days. Indoor workers can suffer from heat stress, too, but you wouldn’t expect libraries to be on the list of places with problems due to hot conditions.
In California, Oakland Public Library officials have had to close four branches recently to stay in compliance with Cal-OSHA employee heat exposure standards.
The libraries close when the indoor temperature is over 86°.
The closings have usually occurred after 2 p.m. Employees have the choice of finishing their shifts at another library branch or taking the time off without pay.
Only 5 of Oakland’s 15 libraries have air conditioning because several branches are more than 45 years old. There are no plans to add air conditioning to those libraries.