Florida Just Made It Illegal To Protect Workers From the Extreme Heat

  • par: Care2 Team
  • destinataire: Occupational Safety and Health Administration
It seems like every day, Republicans in Florida become less shy about their wish to see the working class suffer. Most recently, they went so far as to vote yes on a bill that would make it illegal for cities to protect outside workers from extreme heat exposure.

You read that right -- Florida Republicans passed a law prohibiting cities from making sure workers get enough water, shade, and rest while working in scorching conditions.

Every year, approximately 2,000 workers in the US die from heat stress. This is an emergency.

Sign the petition demanding the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) pass an immediate emergency rule mandating heat protections for workers!

Not only did Florida Republicans pass such a cruel rule without a second thought; they passed it within the same bill that rolled back child labor restrictions. These heartless lawmakers want to let kids work, and then let kids burn. This is unthinkable.

Imagine working outdoors in temperatures as high as 100 degrees and not having guaranteed breaks for hydration or to rest in desperately needed shade. It's a recipe for worker abuse -- and worker death. And the added layer of involving children who shouldn't have to work at all makes it that much more devastating.

Right now, there are no laws at the federal level that protect workers from heat. This is a gross oversight, especially now that climate change is making summers, heat waves, and droughts far more extreme. We have never needed a legal framework for protecting outdoor laborers from heat health emergencies more than we do right now.

Right now, OSHA is working on a rule that would mandate proper worker safety protocol for companies to enact when it comes to working in the heat. But OSHA rules can take years to complete and go into effect -- we need action now.

OSHA has the power to "set temporary emergency standards that take effect immediately" that can later be replaced by more permanent standards -- they must use this power to protect workers in Florida and everywhere from the heat, and lawmakers that would rather see them burn in it than spend time, money, and effort on protecting human rights.

We must come together and speak up for workers who are about to be exposed to the extreme summer heat. Sign the petition demanding OSHA enact emergency heat protections for workers immediately!
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