According to a new study, US government agencies could significantly underestimate the number of workplace injuries caused by extreme heat.
The federal and state labor departments are tracking heat-related injuries such as dehydration and heat stroke. However, if a worker falls off a ladder due to heat dizziness, it is usually not classified as a heat-related injury. New research What was released this week shows that, taking these injuries into account, the actual heat sacrifice of US workers is orders of magnitude greater than the official number.
In California, the state’s occupational safety department counts only about 60 heat-related injuries annually. However, the treatise estimates that between 2001 and 2018, the number of heat injuries was actually hundreds of times higher, about 24,800 each year.
“We expected fever to affect other types of injuries, but the scale was amazing,” said A Patrick Behrer, co-authored with R Jisung Park and Nora Pankratz.
This treatise used California law that requires all employers to have workers’ accident compensation insurance. This insurance is paid when a worker is injured at work. Researchers analyzed 11.6 million claims in the state from 2001 to 2018 and combined it with local weather data to determine the number of injuries that could result from extreme heat. Comprehensively understood.
They found that on the days between the 80th and 85th floors, the risk of worker injuries increased by about 3.5% compared to the days of the 1960s. On days between the 90th and 95th floors, the risk of injury increases by about 7%.
Guillermo Osegera, a 49-year-old boiler maker working in Los Angeles, said: “You’re frustrated because it’s hot, but no one is going to come and work for you.”
Researchers have also found that fever makes a greater sacrifice for low-wage workers.
This disparity in workplace injuries can still appear on the 60th floor day, as low-paying jobs tend to be more dangerous than high-paying jobs.
But as the working days get hotter, the gap between the rich and the poor only widens.
Using the worker’s home zip code as a way to measure income, the treatise found that as temperatures rise, the risk of injury to low-income workers increases at a much higher rate. This is probably because low-income workers are more likely to work in heat-exposed professions, such as outdoor work, Mr. Behrer said.
Ultimately, this means that people who lived in the poorest 20% of zip codes injured about 5.2 per 100 taxpayers.
Those who lived in the wealthiest 20% suffered about 2.2 injuries per 100 taxpayers.
In particular, outdoor workers are not the only ones who are more likely to get injured.
The paper found that indoor workers, such as those working in the manufacturing industry, are also more likely to be injured in hot weather. This is probably because many indoor workers are not in a temperature controlled environment.
Ryan Ruf was a craftsman under construction in 2018 at the Chase Center in San Francisco, home of the Golden State Warriors basketball team.
“It wasn’t in the sun, but it was dirty there,” Raff said. “I try to drink one bottle of water an hour for hydration.”
Raff, who does not work as a craftsman, said that when he started this job 30 years ago, he would start his days at 8 am. But mainly because of the heat, they now start a few hours early.
This finding is especially noticeable, as Americans are expected to experience it. Increasingly hot days.. Countries can adapt – more climate-controlled workplaces, shifts in working hours to avoid the hottest parts of the day, and worker protection legislation.
But without adaptive response, California workers can expect to see 4% to 10.7% more injuries by 2050, according to an analysis conducted by Baler on Guardians.
There is no federal law that protects workers from extreme heat, but some states have passed heat-related worker protection legislation.
In 2005, the California State Legislature Heat stroke prevention standards This, among other things, requires employers to give outdoor workers access to cold water and shade. Researchers have found that after the law was passed, workers’ injuries on days above 90F were reduced by about one-third.
In 2019, California State Legislature Judichu drafted the California Bill when he was a State Legislature. Introduction A similar bill in Congress, but no progress has been made yet.
Last week, one of the researchers, Park, testified about his work in front of Congress. Much of the interest was in the findings of the disparity in worker injuries, but Park urged Congress to think more broadly about the issue of heat.
“These are also the costs that society as a whole bears,” he said. “Workers are suffering from pain and medical costs and are losing wages. But employers are suffering from lost productivity, retraining costs and employment costs. We are all insured. It is important to consider that heat and climate risk issues generally affect all sectors. “
Studies show that heat-induced injuries in the U.S. workplace are severely underestimated | U.S. News
Source link Studies show that heat-induced injuries in the U.S. workplace are severely underestimated | U.S. News