Florida Passes Law Stopping Heat Protections For Outdoor Workers

A measure that would have prevented municipalities from requiring heat protection gear for outdoor workers was signed into law last week by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, approximately two million Floridians work in outdoor sectors, including agriculture and construction. Extreme heat, reaching 95 degrees, is standard throughout the summer in the Sunshine State. Humidity can amplify the heat, making the state’s already scorching summer temperatures seem even hotter, occasionally reaching over 100 degrees.

Republican Rep. Tiffany Esposito of Fort Myers, who sponsored the bill in the House, highlighted that her husband has worked extensively in the construction business in South Florida, so she knows how serious the industry is about worker safety.

House Bill 433 was passed into law by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis on July 1, signing into law this critical change.

One of the many restrictions it places on local governments is the power to enforce heat exposure standards that aren’t already dictated by federal or state law.

House Bill 433 prohibits municipalities from establishing their minimum wage and favoring or influencing companies according to their pay or perks. The bill’s scope has also been revised and clarified.

As stated in the bill’s description, it would ensure that employers, including those with contracts with the political subdivision, are not subjected to any more heat exposure regulations by the subdivision beyond what is currently required by state or federal law.

When reviewing bids, it is essential to consider the business’s heat exposure needs.

The bill’s study leaned heavily on OSHA’s depth of knowledge in formulating lasting standards for workplace safety. It stresses the significance of understanding that education and solid collaboration between companies and workers are necessary for the prevention of heat-related diseases.

They depend on fines and penalties levied on businesses to fund the implementation of these rules. Workers need protection under the law to speak out and avoid heat-related diseases without fear of reprisal.