Florida Blocks Local Heat Protections for Outdoor Workers

In Florida, where the sun shines bright, working outdoors in the summer heat can be risky for highway, construction, and farm workers. Miami-Dade County wanted to make things safer by passing a law requiring breaks in the shade and access to water for these workers.

But the state of Florida has said no to the assessment made by even though it was widely accepted by the citizens and outside workers of the State.

Republican lawmakers in Florida worry about having different heat laws in different places, so they decided against a statewide rule. Some Republicans think this will help workers by keeping costs low for employers, which means more people can stay employed.

However, Democrats disagree strongly. They believe this decision is unkind and harsh. Florida State Representative Fentrice Driskell called it “mean-spirited and cruel.”

While Florida is taking a step back, other states are moving forward to protect outdoor workers better. For example, California now requires employers to give workers water and shade when the temperature goes above 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Florida Blocks Local Heat Protections for Outdoor Workers

States like Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, and Colorado have also made improvements to protect outdoor workers from heat.

At the federal level, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) already requires employers to make sure workplaces are safe from known dangers, including heat-related issues.

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