American workers are dying, local businesses are reporting a drop in productivity, and the country’s economy is losing billions all because of one problem: the heat.
July was the hottest month on record on our planet, according to scientists. This entire summer, so far, has been marked by scorching temperatures for much of the U.S. South, with the thermometer reaching triple digits in several places in Texas between June and July.
In that same period, at least two people died in the state while working under the stifling heat enveloping Texas, a 35-year-old utility lineman, and a 66-year-old USPS carrier. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 36 work-related deaths due to environmental heat exposure in 2021, the latest data available. This was a drop from 56 deaths in 2020, and the lowest number since 2017.