For employers and insurers, the effects of rising heat-related illnesses and claims are a growing concern. California’s insurance department reports that in the past decade, extreme heat waves have cost the state at least $7.7 billion in lost labor productivity, costs related to power outages, infrastructure repairs and premature deaths. In the workplace, the probability of work-related accidents increases by 5% to 6% when the temperature rises above 90 degrees compared with 65 to 70 degrees, according to the Workers Compensation Research Institute. The effect of workplace heat is stronger in the southern U.S. and on workers in the construction industry, WCRI found.

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