fb tracking

DeSantis Signs Law Banning Water Breaks and Cooling Measures from Florida Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday night quietly signed into law a measure intended to prohibit local workplace standards requiring drinking water, cooling measures, recovery periods, posting or distributing materials informing workers how to protect themselves, and requiring first aid or emergency responses. The Florida legislature voted to move forward on the legislation in March. In response to the governor signing the bill into law, Juley Fulcher, worker health and safety advocate with Public Citizen, issued the following statement: 

“Workers in Florida will die in the Florida heat as a result of Gov. DeSantis’ signing this bill. Denying any worker access to water or shade in the heat of summer is inhumane and cruel, yet Florida just allowed employers to do exactly that. Each year, hundreds of workers across the U.S. die excruciating deaths from heat, and now, employers in Florida have backing from the state to deny their workers basic protections from heat stress and any information about how to protect themselves. 

“The patchwork of enacted state laws that expose workers to extreme heat without protections demand a clear correction from Congress and the Biden Administration. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) could impose an emergency temporary heat rule in time for summer, but has rejected calls to do so. Congress could act today by passing the Asuncíon Valdivia Heat Illness, Injury and Fatality Prevention Act, which would direct OSHA to implement an interim heat standard right now. Despite nearly 100 co-sponsors, the bipartisan bill currently languishes in congressional committees. It is past time for the federal government to step up and protect workers in what will be the hottest summer of our lives.” 

# # #