'As temperatures rise, industries fight heat safeguards for workers'

Dr. David Michaels, GWSPH

August 9, 2022


Housing community being built by immigrant workers with heat indexes over 100 degrees. Credit: Cindy Karp for The Washington Post

CHI member and Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health, and of Epidemiology, Dr. David Michaels, was quoted in a Washington Post article entitled, 'As temperatures rise, industries fight heat safeguards for workers'.  Climate change is fueling hotter temperatures, threatening the safety and health of outdoor workers. In 2020, researchers at University of Washington and Stanford University conducted a study that found that the average U.S. farmworker is exposed to 21 days of unsafe levels of heat per season; and with projected warming from climate change, this exposure is expected to double. Efforts at the state level to protect workers from heat exposure have been largely unsuccessful, and a call for national regulation is expected to face fierce opposition from businesses. “There’s no question this will be expensive [national regulation],” Michaels said, “but if we think that safe work is a right, then weighing out the cost shouldn’t be part of that calculus.”

You can read the full article here