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Arizona outdoor workers’ tips for staying safe in the summer heat

PHOENIX – Avoiding hot summer temperatures is impossible for Arizonans who make their living beneath the scorching sun. Earlier this month, Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, introduced a bill that would establish a federal safety standard for workers who labor in the heat, both inside and outdoors.

The bill is named after Asunción Valdivia, a California farmworker who died in 2004 after picking grapes on a 10-hour shift in 105-degree heat.

If adopted, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would limit the amount of time workers are exposed to high heat and require those workers be given paid breaks to cool down and drink water.

In Arizona, the number of heat-related illnesses skyrockets during summer months and has continued to increase year-over-year, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. In 2018, heat-related illnesses accounted for 2,898 of the 2,990 emergency-room visits statewide from April to September. ER visits peaked in July, with 941 visits.

Without federal or state mandated protections, we asked some of Arizona’s high-heat workers how they stay safe under the sun.

See their tips in the gallery below:

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