New Laws for Working in the Heat - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Laws for Working in the Heat

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YAKIMA, Wash. -- The State Department Of Labor And Industries is taking new measures to prevent workers from suffering from heat-related illnesses during the summer months.

Labor groups and businesses have been debating this issue for years, but beginning July fifth businesses must comply.

Employers will now have to take a little more care with their employees when temperatures reach certain levels.

The first rule is to train employees and supervisors to recognize and respond to heat-related illness. That includes knowing the temperatures at which working in certain uniforms can be hazardous.

The second rule is to increase the amount of water available to workers when temperatures require it.

The third rule is to be able to respond quickly to any employee with symptoms of an illness.

Roy Carpenter owns A-1 Construction in Yakima and says he already does all three things.

"It's not something new. We've been taking care of them and looking out for their interest and we've never has a heat related problem in the last thirty years," said Carpenter.

For many businesses it's the costs to document these new procedures and plans that they're most concerned about.

The department of labor says these rules are mostly for businesses who don't already practice these rules.

The new rules are only in place from may 1st to September 30th.
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