Hundreds of Workers Have Died From Heat in the Last Decade


Workers are dying on the job from excessive heat death that might have been prevented at construction sites and in farm fields and investigation by npr and the investigative reporting unit of the columbia journalism school examined hundreds of these cases and they found that osha. That's the federal agency charged with protecting occupational safety and health that osha has known for decades how to prevent deaths from heat but they have not acted. Npr investigative correspondent cheryl. W thompson has our report. This is the cornfield where three years ago a migrant worker collapsed crews korea's beltran had spent nine hours to tasleem corn and big field in grand island nebraska. It was hot at least ninety degrees. He had one bottle of water and no shade at the end of the day. The other farm workers emerged from the field to board a bus to a nearby motel for the night but not beltran Center this is joseph rivera and we run the decathlon crew. But there's been a guy missing now for a few hours. They thought maybe he went home because they couldn't find him in the rose and the company went out there and they can't find them in a frantic would organize a search party. They found beltran's body twenty hours later amid the corn. Husks that empty water bottle stuffed in his pants pocket. I would say he just had a heat stroke. I mean just collapsed there and that's where he landed. That's michaela norman. A clerk at a local funeral home who retrieve beltran's body that july day it was the third day on the job for the fifty two year old from mexico a job. He took to earn money to buy his daughter address for her high school graduation. Our investigation found that beltran is one of at least three hundred eighty four workers who have died from the heat in the us in the last decade men and women labor in fields in construction collecting

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