Advocate For National Heat Regulations

Working In Heat Blog Post Graphic

As States Prohibit Worker Rights Policies, We Must Advocate for National Regulations

Florida has joined Texas in becoming the next state to prohibit local workplace standards requiring heat stress regulations, such as drinking water, cooling measures, recovery periods, posting or distributing materials informing workers how to protect themselves, and requiring first aid or emergency responses. The National Farm Worker Ministry joined The Farmworker Association of Florida and other Florida community organizations to urge FL Governor Ron DeSantis to veto the bill, instead he quietly signed the bill into law in mid-April. Texas began prohibiting local municipalities from adopting their own heat stress regulations in 2023.

Rep. Tiffany Esposito was one of the Florida bill sponsors. She reasoned that this bill is good for workers because it is good for businesses. Here is just a part of Esposito’s rationale: “…you want to talk about how we can make sure that all Floridians are healthy, you do that by making sure that they have a good job. And in order to provide good jobs, we need to not put businesses out of business.” 

A lack of heat regulations is not good for worker health; poor worker health is not good for business. According to Public Citizen, heat exposure is responsible for as many as 2,000 worker fatalities in the U.S. each year and up to 170,000 workers in the U.S. are injured in heat stress related accidents annually. Additionally, the failure of employers to implement simple heat safety measures costs the U.S. economy nearly $100 billion every year. Currently, there are no federal heat stress regulations and very few states have their own regulations.

Among farm workers, heat stroke is the leading cause of work-related death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, farm workers die from heat-related illness at a rate 20 times greater than the rest of the U.S. civilian workers. Farm workers and other outdoor workers need rest, shade, and adequate clean drinking water to protect themselves from heat-related illnesses. And workers need time to acclimate to high heat conditions if they are not already used to it. NFWM does not support the narrative that providing these basic needs would somehow put farms or other companies out of business.

Temperatures are heating up in Florida, Texas, and across the nation; so must our efforts to adopt national heat stress regulations. Reach out to your legislators and ask them to support the Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness, Injury, and Fatality Prevention Act, which is H.R.4897 in the House and S.2501 in the Senate. The bill directs the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to declare a standard that requires employers to implement certain measures for protecting workers from heat stress and related illnesses or injuries. Learn more about this bill and other farm worker-focused legislation on NFWM’s Legislative Action Page.

Don’t forget to let us know you took a stand for worker safety and contacted your legislator by emailing us at We also encourage you to get your community involved in this action. Thank you for joining us in this important work for social, economic, and racial justice for farm workers!

Category: News & Archives No Comments

Comments are closed.