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The heat is ON.

Heat exposure has killed 40 workers per year since 2011.

Heat – and other exogenous factors related to human-caused climate change will likely be the fastest-growing driver of occupational injuries.

Fortunately others are stepping into the gaps caused by a failure of leadership by the Federal Department of Labor and outright stupid behavior by some state politicians. (note dozens of elected Representatives have authored a bill that would require and enforce heat protection standards for workers…of course, the House can’t even pass a ^%$%&#* budget, so this ish’t going anywhere.)

California has been a leader and is on the verge of implementing standards to protect indoor workers from heat exposure; Minnesota and Oregon also have indoor heat standards. Colorado, Oregon, and Washington also have rules for outdoor workers.

Meanwhile, OSHA has been dithering for years, failing to establish enforceable standards while more workers die.

The American Society of Safety Professionals just published standards for protecting construction workers from heat….these standards have no teeth, but would very likely have prevented this death.

Meanwhile politicians in Florida and Texas are doing their best to kill more workers. That is NOT hyperbole…Florida passed legislation protecting student athletes from heat, but has actively promoted legislation that would prohibit local governments from requiring employers to offer the same protection to workers.

And then there’s Texas

Good news – WCRI’s annual meeting will include insights into climate-related drivers of occupational injuries.

What does this mean for you?

Higher workers’ comp rates, more injuries, and more dead workers in Texas and Florida – and elsewhere.

2 thoughts on “The heat is ON.”

  1. Joe, your blog post is a stark reminder of the urgent need for action in protecting workers from heat-related hazards, particularly in light of the concerning statistics and trends highlighted. It’s distressing to see the substantial loss of life attributed to heat exposure annually since 2011. Looking forward to WCRI next week.

    1. Thanks for the note Nikki; we can and should be doing much better.

      Protecting workers should be job one.

      be well Joe

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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