US: BATTLE FOR SAFETY IN HEAT

Amidst the growing threat of heat-related illnesses caused by rising temperatures and anti-worker political actions, California is pushing to establish an indoor heat standard to protect workers, particularly in high-risk industries such as warehousing.

Despite approval by the Cal/OSHA Standards Board, a proposed heat standard, which mandates measures like air conditioning and adjusted work schedules when indoor temperatures surpass certain thresholds, faces resistance from the California Department of Finance.

Meanwhile, in Florida, Republican legislators have passed a law preventing local governments from setting workplace heat standards, prioritising business interests over worker safety.

Last summer, Miami endured a record 46 days with a heat index exceeding 100 degrees.

Despite calls from 88 environmental, faith, and progressive groups urging Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to veto the legislation, last week DeSantis signed off on the legislation.

This move mirrors similar actions in Texas, where a 'Death Star' bill prohibits local jurisdictions from enacting ordinances to protect workers from heat-related illnesses and deaths, including requirements for water and rest breaks.

It's a contest between Texas and Florida to see which state poses the greatest risk to workers, with Florida currently leading the charge.

Source: Confined Space, 16 April

Share Tweet

RELATED

CONTROVERSIAL RULING: ONE WORK GROUP FOR 170 STAFF
In a NSW decision that sets a worrying precedent, an employer has successfully argued that its workplace should only have one work group instead of the five determined by the WHS Regulator....
Read More
TRAINING GAPS LEAD TO $400K FINE
Big Bell Gold Operations has been fined $400,000 after a contract worker was injured while performing a task that wasn't covered in his safety induction. The supervising task manager was also untrained....
Read More
LOW REWARDS, HIGH STRESS DRIVE BURNOUT
A study by Sweden's Karolinska Institute has found that a high effort-reward imbalance (ERI) significantly increases the risk of workers burning out, but high demands are only part of the problem.
Read More