Federal bill would protect workers from heat-related illnesses

A blazing sun over some clouds. (Shutterstock/By Edmund O'Connor)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — A California lawmaker is pushing for a bill that would benefit thousands of people across the country.

The bill sets guidelines for workers who spend hours out in the heat for their jobs.

"Every day, workers around the country, whether on a farm or in a warehouse, work in 100-degree temperatures or more just to feed their own families and the country," Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) said. "That exposure to high heat puts workers at risk of heat stroke or heat exhaustion."

The Asuncion Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act, which is named for a worker who died from a heat stroke after working for 10 hours straight in high temperatures, would establish requirements for those working in high heat environments. Those requirements are: paid breaks in cool spaces, access to water, and limitations on how long the worker can be exposed to heat, NBC DFW reported.

The bill would also train employers to recognize risk factors that could lead to heat-related illnesses.