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Phoenix ordinance requires city contractors with outdoor workers to have a heat-safety plan

Published: Wednesday, March 27, 2024 - 7:05am
Updated: Wednesday, March 27, 2024 - 12:58pm
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Phoenix will require contractors with employees working outside to follow measures intended to prevent heat injury and illness following a City Council vote Tuesday.

Officials estimate the move will affect about 10,000 workers.

Phoenix contractors, lessees and licensees must develop a heat-safety plan and make it available to city officials. Some minimum requirements are that workers have free drinking water, regular breaks, access to shade and air-conditioning.

Councilwoman Betty Guardado said she expects more. 

“It is time for us to raise the bar and ensure that every worker in Phoenix is provided with the highest level of protection and support,” Guardado said.

Officials say most of the ordinance will take effect before summer, and 2025 is the deadline to meet a requirement to have air-conditioning in closed-cab vehicles.

But the new city code does not address potential retribution by an employer against a worker who complains about a lack of accessible drinking water.

“I guess my question would be, if I’m one of these workers and I get retaliated against, who do I call?” Councilwoman Laura Pastor said.

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