July 11, 2019 / Modified jul 11, 2019 9:21 a.m.

Grijalva co-sponsors bill protecting workers from heat stress

Workers would be entitled to shade, water and work breaks.

Yuma harvest Workers harvest greens alongside farm equipment in the Yuma area.
AZPM

LISTEN

Tucson-area Congressman Raúl Grijalva is co-sponsoring a bill to create federal standards to protect workers from heat stress.

Grijalva, California Congresswoman Judy Chu and others stood outside the U.S. Capitol Wednesday morning to introduce the Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act. The bill is named for a farm worker who died after a 10-hour shift picking grapes in temperatures that reached 105 degrees.

Robert Weissman, president of the group Public Citizen, said the bill is needed only because the Trump administration won't act on its own.

"We petitioned this administration, along with our colleagues the United Farm Workers, Farmworker Justice and 130 other organization to adopt a heat stress standard, but so far — radio silence," Weissman said.

The bill calls on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to adopt rules that mandate workers exposed to heat be given rest breaks, shade, and water. Federal labor statistics show heat killed 783 workers over the last 25 years.

MORE: News
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona