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A new California legislative analysis suggests climate change poses a particular risk to employees who cannot avoid outdoor exposure, including construction workers, and that the risk is increasing.
It says that construction workers face increased occupational risks and health hazards from greater exposure to elements like heat and air pollution. They are also at greater risk of decreased productivity and disruptions that make work less stable and predictable, such as extreme heat and wildfire smoke threats shortening the viable construction season or causing work slowdowns.
Certain populations carry a larger burden, according to the report from the nonpartisan California Legislative Analyst’s Office. At higher risk are low- and middle-wage workers and Latinos, because that population makes up a disproportionate share — about 60% — of California’s outdoor workforce.