Nevada Environmental Justice Coalition

8NewsNow: SB427 introduced to protect Nevada workers from extreme heat

Lawmakers introduce bill to protect Nevada workers from extreme heat.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — In March, state lawmakers introduced a bill seeking to protect outdoor workers from the brutal heat.

Employees at Boss Security Screens know how hot it gets in Las Vegas. They put in the effort outside to install security screens to protect homeowners from intruders.

It’s a job full of hard labor which is why chief operating officer Elena Ledoux works that much harder to protect her workers from the scorching heat and that starts at the hiring process.

“We give ample notice to respective candidates and say this position requires working outdoors and even in the winter we say have you worked outdoors?” Ledoux said. “A lot of times people say yes they prefer it but we say do you really though, have you really worked in heat like Las Vegas or Phoenix because sometimes people want to come work for us, but physically they cannot handle it.”

This also means having a flexible schedule, working early hours to avoid the sun, and clocking out by 2 p.m. at the latest.

“It’s critical, we do provide uniforms that are long sleeves. It’s cotton so it’s easier on the body in the heat and we do provide cold drinks and ice packs,” Ledoux explained.

While Ledoux already has heat safety rules in place for the company, she’s happy to hear lawmakers are taking extra precautions to protect those outside.

Cinthia Moore, the coordinator from the Nevada Environmental Justice Coalition said SB427 would set the definition of extreme heat at 105 degrees.

“By putting in the NRS definition of what extreme heat is, this helps those protections kick in when we hit 105 degrees in Southern Nevada,” Moore added. “Other states that have passed protections for their outdoor workers, they’re either at 80 degrees or 90 degrees but in those conversations, we had with labor unions and opposition, we met in the middle, and we went with 105. Originally we had it at 95 degrees.”

The bill would put programs in place to train employees for signs of heat-related illnesses and how to respond.

“We’re working really closely with the bill’s sponsor, Senator Flores. We came to him for the idea of this bill and because he represents an area where a lot of his constituents work outdoors and work in these conditions, he was a huge supporter of making this happen,” Moore said. ” We’re also working closely with our labor unions out here. We’re also working closely with our bill sponsor’s opponent to negotiate different amendments hopefully get them to neutral and support the bill.”

SB427 also requires shade and water breaks and employers must have proper masks during bad air quality.

“I truly applaud our construction workers and our other workers in industries where they have to work outdoors because of them, it’s what keeps our city going,” Moore said.

SB427 would need to pass the Senate Floor Tuesday night, April 25th, 2023.