Texas Gov. Abbott removes mandatory water breaks

Texas Gov. Abbott removes mandatory water breaks

Texas Governor, Greg Abbott signed a new law at the end of June that removes mandatory water breaks for people in the construction industry. The new law is to come into effect later this year, is a part of a wider Bill called HB 2127, will prevent local governments from passing similar mandatory worker protections under the guise of “regulatory consistency”, as stipulated in the Bill. 


The new law has been opposed by many, including the AFL-CIO Union which insists that “banning required rest breaks for construction workers in the Texas heat is deadly”. With worsening climate conditions, Texas this year experienced it’s hottest June ever, HB 2127 will surely severely impact the health of those working outside for generations to come. The Union of Concerned Scientists flagged that more than half of Americans have faced an extreme weather alert between mid-March to June. Data only further illustrates the dangers that this new law poses to those in construction. impACT International urges Mr Abbott to re-consider the human ramifications of supposedly reducing regulatory overreach. 


Workers’ advocates are rightfully enraged with the weakening of rights, and warns that not only will it increase deaths, but the impact will be felt most heavily by non-white workers in industry. With 6/10 construction workers having Latino heritage, it is likely that they will most likely experience the largest increase in serious heat related exposure illnesses. 


Other regions in the South are likely to experience equally harmful weather emergencies, and state legislatures should look to parallel Mr Abbott’s new law entrenching health protections in the construction sector. Wet Bulb readings, used in Gulf States to determine temperature to check whether outside work is permissible (essentially, a thermometer covered in a wet cloth, it measures whether human sweat is both able to cool the body and evaporate), were recently taken in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas, and recorded “extreme heat” data, a hazard to human health. 


As our planets climate continues to worsen, it also stands to degrade the health of millions of working people globally, state institutions, particularly in hot areas like Texas, must do more to protect people’s health whilst at work. HB 2127 is not only a cruel new law to pass, placing already overworked people in the construction industry in a more uncomfortable position, but illustrates that if more is not done, the health of workers in vulnerable industries will continue to degrade. impACT International suggests that Mr Abbott immediately reverses HB 2127.  


Legal Framework for Establishing of Human Rights Groups in Saudi Arab...

Saudi government frequently bans meetings and closes down associations

Guidance for business: Preserving human rights while combating COVID-...

As health and government officials work relentlessly to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world, businesses also must do thei...

Israeli factory repeatedly violates workers' rights in Jordan

.The management of Israeli factory Hilbash Moshe in Jordan must stop violating workers' rights, which has escalated during the coronavirus pandemic