Heatwave decision: Texas cuts drink breaks for construction workers
Temperatures in Texas reached up to 40 degrees in June. Now the US state has canceled the local drinking breaks for construction workers – although construction workers have also died as a result of the heat. The regulation should apply from September.
The US state Texas has banned drink breaks for construction workers by law in some major cities — and it’s doing so in the middle of a heat wave. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has already filed a lawsuit. The AFL-CIO union also reacted with outrage on Wednesday. In Texas, workers have already died as a result of the heat, said union representative Ana Gonzalez. “Texas is the deadliest state in terms of construction.” According to statistics, 42 workers in the construction industry in Texas died from heat-related effects from 2011 to 2022.
Already in June up to 40 degrees Celsius in Texas
In the cities of Austin or Dallas, for example, construction workers have the right to take a drink break every four hours and stay in the shade for ten minutes. The state legislature decided in June to scrap these regulations; Governor Greg Abbott has already signed it. The new rules will come into effect in September. Lawmakers had argued that local rules partially contradicted those of the state.
In Texas and other regions in the southern United States, it was very hot in the last two weeks of June, with temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius. According to official figures, 13 people died as a result of the heat.
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