It is my opinion that working under these conditions requires the company to provide proper rest periods, water and even coffee during the winter to these workers. The weather being part of the job should require the company to do the right thing by these workers. I am aware that this is not the case since many unions have been driven out of business. Unions had their bad cases but they also provided the eight hour day, vacations, overtime pay , 5 day work week, health ins. disability coverage and worker safety rules. These are being eliminated without the unions!
Having to take and pass the OSHA exam I can assure you that companies are responsible to make sure that employees are informed and have access to all related safety gear but it is not necessarily the companies obligation to supply that gear in more dangerous occupations i e fishing logging although the company needs to have safety procedures in place it is the employee's responsibility to ensure that they are aware of their environment and the hazards that are around them
OSHA has had rules on this for decades, but it is up to the worker to monitor how they feel, some have much more tolerance for heat or cold than others. Strong Unions are the only way to get OSHA rules properly enforced, by the way! In fact if not for (formerly) strong Unions, there would be no OSHA!
I have worked on oil drilling rigs in all kinds of conditions. That being said, I believe that an employer and employee share responsibility for ones well being. You realistically can't babysit everyone all the time.If you feel you are in any danger of over exposure, I have never seen an instance where supervisors forced anyone to continue.They have always told someone to take a break, cool off, warm up, get more gear, whatever it takes.
Absolutely. And in jurisdictions which care about workers health and welfare, that's what the laws says they must do. And here in British Columbia, the laws are even enforced.
Enforcement and some laws were eroded under our previous conservative government, but we're back on track now.
Yes they should. If these workers decide it's against their best interest to work in unreasonable circumstances then their employer would fire them for stopping work if there is no union. Employers should provide a safe working environment as required by law.
I work in archaeology and the answer is YES. Even apart from the moral argument, thinks aren't going get done if your workers are dropping like flies from heat exhaustion or hurting from sun burn. It is the company's responsibility enable their workers work comfortably. I worked outside with heavy tools on the scorching heat recently and it was very, very difficult. But it was made clear to me that if I need a water break, I should take it.
I worked for a few years at a place that literally was a sweatshop and the ownership and management couldn't have cared less about the health and safety of the hourly workers there in the laboring jobs. There was no AC except for the offices and barely any heat on the work floor. This place really needed a union, but there's no way they would have kept the plan open if one was organized. The business was cheap auto accessories, like chroming up cars and trucks. I know for a fact that they frequently and knowingly hired undocumented workers. But the most outrageous thing was that they guy who owned it was worth 78 million $. The place never got raided by ICE for the undoc workers even tho it was common knowledge because the owner was too rich and politically connected. It was probably about the worst job I ever had as far as how much contempt and hatred I had for the owner and the top management of the place. I can also only imagine how toxic the air in that place was also.
And of course, there was only paid sick leave for management.
Short answer: absolutely yes...
Long answer: Employers are absolutely responsible for our workers safety regarding environmental considerations. I work for an EMS agency in NY. We are very careful to make sure our ambulances have fully functional heating and A/C. We also outfit our staff with proper uniforms for almost any considerable condition. These include jackets, coats, rain gear, head wear, and lightweight shirts. We also make sure that our staff have comfortable stations to stay in in between call for service. As for consumables, we provide coffee or other warm beverage options, filtered cold water dispenser, and various other options for when its needed. Our supervisors look after their people, making sure there are no signs of environmental exposure that will cause problems. And why do we do this? Well, if we don't, we lose staff to injury and sickness (more than we do now...) It's in the agency's best interests to avoid injury and illnesses, no?