Park on Heat-Related Worker Injuries

Assistant Professor of Public Policy R. Jisung Park was mentioned in an Agence France-Presse article about the impact of climate change on agricultural workers. Rising temperatures are increasingly threatening workers in the United States, resulting in greater health risks as well as negatively impacting performance. According to a recent study, 3 million workers in the United States experience at least one working week each year in temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Research shows that working in too much heat can cause fatigue, confusion, fainting and heat stroke. Park explained that, in California alone, “hotter temperatures may be causing upwards of tens of thousands of workplace injuries each year.” Increasing temperatures can result in decreased productivity and therefore loss of revenue, which impacts workers’ income. Experts recommend increasing worker protections, including access to shade, water and paid breaks, to protect the health and well-being of those in the workplace.

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