Extreme Heat Is Becoming More Dangerous for Farmworkers

3 days ago 37

And it’s only going to get worse. In a 2020 paper, University of Washington researchers calculated that the average number of “days spent working in unsafe conditions” due to excessive heat will likely double by mid-century, and triple by the end of it. Yet Washington is one of just four states with specific rules to protect workers from dangerous heat, along with California, Oregon, and Minnesota. Legislatures in Nevada, Maryland, and Colorado have passed laws requiring state agencies to develop heat standards for workers, but they haven’t come into effect yet. And there are no federal standards on working in the heat. 

Under federal labor law, employers are required to “assure safe and healthful working conditions” on the job. The agency that exists within the Department of Labor to enforce that standard, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, occasionally rolls out rules designed to protect workers from specific threats that might otherwise fall through the cracks. Back in 1983, for example, OSHA introduced rules requiring employers to train and inform workers about how to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals on the job. Last June, OSHA released...

Read Entire Article