Heat-Related Laws Put to the Test

Some states prevent cities from mandating water breaks. Still, there are commonsense practices to protect construction workers from soaring temperatures.

May 30, 2024

1 Min Read
Brian Snyder/Reuters

When the calendar turns to summer’s traditional start on Memorial Day, the longer days can help contractors deliver projects more quickly than during winter months.

At the same time, summer days bring intense heat in many parts of the country—so hot that it risks the health of outdoor workers. The safety of laborers in hot climates has garnered national attention in recent years, especially as research indicates that air temperatures are increasing around the globe and will continue to rise.

In many parts of the world, last summer was the hottest in 2,000 years, according to NASA. Miami broke its record for the city’s hottest July ever recorded. Temperatures hit over 100 degrees 70 times in El Paso, Texas. Phoenix hit 110 degrees 54 times.

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 433, which will prevent cities and counties in the state from enacting their own heat safety regulations, starting in July.

To read the rest of this story from our sister publication Construction Dive, click here.

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