How workers in SWFL battle the heat, new protections

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Hundreds of workers are exposed to extreme heat in Southwest Florida, and complying with the protections is suggested but not mandatory.

“We work inside, and we work outside. So, we deal with a lot of the heat, a lot of the rain coming up in the summer, and a lot of the humidity,” said Diego Gonzalez, G. Meyer Construction.

This week, the Biden Administration, through OSHA, released a proposed rule requiring employers of workers exposed to the heat to provide shade and water and establish rest breaks when they face high temperatures.

“It’s obviously brutal on the body. It takes a toll on you,” said Gonzalez.

WINK News reporter Michelle Alvarez spoke to Gonzalez, who said their workers rarely like taking breaks because they like getting the job done but drink water and stop when necessary.

“They’re very proud people. So, at the end of the day, I’m sure they’re feeling it because everybody feels it in their type of way,” said Gonzalez.

Like everyone else, we’re facing the challenges of this extremely hot summer.

WINK News also spoke with Lt. Armando Negrin of the North Collier Fire Department about battling fires and heat simultaneously.

“We have contingency plans in place that we utilize in an emergency scene; for example, we’ll have a rehab station or rehabilitation station, where we provide hydration for our folks, and so forth,” said Negrin.

Most of all, knowing your body and how to care for yourself is essential. So, drink plenty of water, know when to take breaks and wear light colors if possible.

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