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Employee heat exposure a serious problem

| Sep 1, 2019 | Workplace Safety

Many people in Wisconsin have jobs that require them to be outside for much or even all of their working shifts. You might be one of these people. Some of the jobs that require this include positions in road construction, agriculture, building construction, public works, parks maintenance and more. When the summer months hit and the temperatures spike, you may be at risk of developing a heat-related illness or injury. These things can be serious and even lead to death in extreme cases.

A report by USA Today explained that only three states in the country currently have laws in place that require employers to provide appropriate protection for employees exposed to extreme heat. Two of these states are on the west coast and only one is in the Midwest. That state is nearby Minnesota. Workers in Wisconsin and the other 46 states and the District of Columbia have no such laws on their side, only general guidelines set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Some representatives in Congress have recently introduced a new bill that would mandate legislation at the federal level requiring employers to protect heat-exposed workers. Provisions might include break periods, access to water and access to shade.

If you would like to learn more about how you or someone in your family who may work in an environment in which they are exposed to extreme heat can be protected, please feel free to visit the heat illness and injury among workers page of our Wisconsin workers’ compensation and workplace safety website.