After we have had our first triple-digit temperature day of the year, we need to take a minute to reflect on how businesses treat employees in extreme heat. I know that one of the things we like about Idaho is that regulations are loose, and the government stays out of our business.

Seeing people work outside, sweating and out of breath, makes me uncomfortable. I feel bad for the employee, but I also worry that the employer, who likely provides a service that I like, will open themselves up to litigation if something were to happen.

I know that Idaho isn't exactly a leader in any type of legislation. We don't come up with anything original, revolutionary, or innovative politically. Good news: Protecting workers in the heat has been done before, even by states near and around us, including the one that starts with "C."

Idaho, a state that can see as many as 27 100-degree days in a year, needs to do more than rely on just the Federal OSHA guidelines. I'm not saying that we should copy California's regulations, but they do provide one of many examples of what this could look like.

At 80 degrees, California employers must provide water, shade, and mandatory cool-down breaks. At 95 degrees, communications systems go into effect to look for signs of heat-related illnesses.

In 2022, Oregon followed California's regulations, except that the second tier of protection kicks in at 90 degrees. In Washington, the first tier kicks in at 90 degrees and the second tier at 100 degrees.

Other countries, including China, have laws requiring employers to reduce hours when temperatures exceed 95 degrees. The UAE doesn't allow much outdoor work during the summer months.

The state must do it for them since Idaho employers won't regulate themselves.

18 Totally Free Boise Area Splash Pads Where Kids Can Beat the Heat

Looking for a fun place to take the kids once the weather warms up? Here's a comprehensive guide to splash pads in Boise and the surrounding areas!

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart