Last month marked the end of summer. For most of us, that means no more trips to the beach or outdoor BBQs, but for many of our neighbors working construction in Texas, the falling temperatures offer desperately needed relief from brutal, and often life threatening, working conditions.
Billy Tirado is a foundation repairman from Dallas. For the past 12 years, he’s worked hard to provide for his wife and three daughters, but he risks his health every time he works in the hot Texas sun. Last summer, Billy was working for a foundation repair company that forbade him from stopping for water or rest. As a result, he nearly fainted from heat exhaustion. “Your body feels like it is suffocating...I felt dizzy. My eyes got blurry. I felt nauseous.”
Sadly, Billy’s experience is typical in the Texas construction industry. Because there is no state or federal law ensuring rest breaks for construction workers, many employers fail to do the right thing; nearly 40% of Texas construction workers do not receive rest breaks on the job. Workers who are denied rest breaks face higher risks of heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and even death. This summer in Dallas, an average of two workers were hospitalized due to heat-related illnesses every day. Read more » about Working Without Rest Puts Lives in Danger