Workers are dying from extreme heat. Why aren’t there laws to protect them?
October 19, 2023
The story is a co-publication with The Guardian and is part of the "Record High" series, examining extreme heat and its impact on our lives.
The article highlights the increasing risks of heat-related deaths among outdoor workers, with real-life incidents of workers facing extreme heat and dying due to inadequate protections.
While some progress has been made with local ordinances mandating water breaks for construction workers, these protections have been rescinded in some states, and there are almost no federal regulations to protect workers from heat-related illnesses.
Despite efforts by lawmakers, labor advocates, and unions to pass heat protection laws, industry groups often oppose such regulations, claiming they are costly and burdensome. The article also discusses successful heat protection measures in California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, highlighting the need for broader worker safety protections against extreme heat.