It’s time to treat climate change like an on-the-job hazard
Extreme heat, a significant hazard for outdoor workers, is becoming even more severe due to climate change. While strategies like providing water and breaks, altering work schedules, and having emergency plans can mitigate risks, such protections aren’t universally implemented. There are no federal rules to safeguard workers from heat, wildfires, or other climate-related hazards, resulting in a patchwork of protections. Legislation has been introduced to address this issue, with the impacts of climate change projected to have significant economic and labor consequences, reducing working hours and global GDP. Workers and unions are playing a vital role in advocating for enhanced workplace safety in the context of climate change, with the need for proactive climate emergency and resiliency plans becoming increasingly urgent.