News Analysis

What Last Summer’s Weather Taught Us about Jobsite Equity

Climate change symptoms, including wildfire smoke and extreme heat, are endangering outdoor workers and changing assumptions about productivity and construction timelines.

Climate change is threatening outdoor construction workers. Extreme heat and dangerous air quality from wildfire smoke are becoming more frequent and prolonged, occurring in places that have not previously experienced them. And without federal regulations in place, employers must make judgment calls about safety breaks and work stoppages in an industry notorious for its immense time pressures.

How climate change compromises safety

According to a report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), climate change increases the likelihood of prolonged heat waves, which in turn contribute to poor air quality by increasing the development of ground-level ozone (a.k.a. smog) as well as the risk of wildfire, dust storms, and other consequences of drought. 

Published October 2, 2023

Waters, E. (2023, September 26). What Last Summer’s Weather Taught Us about Jobsite Equity. Retrieved from