The first heat wave of the year has officially arrived. Temperatures around Massachusetts climbed into the mid-90s Tuesday afternoon, and the heat is expected to remain through the rest of the week.

In Boston, city of officials are encouraging people to visit public cooling spaces at Centers for Youth and Families and spray pads at parks and playgrounds. But the heat could have disparate impacts on different neighborhoods. And some folks, like construction workers and people with disabilities, may have a difficult time trying to cool down.

Dan Ottaviano with the union Laborers Local 22 said certain workers have jobs that leave them especially vulnerable to overheating.

“Paving is no joke on days like this,” he said. “Pouring concrete in the open sun. … Doing utilities in a trench in the street where the sun is directly on you, and there’s no air moving through a trench because you’re 5, 6, 7 feet in the ground. Those are the three that have been the worst for us.”

Ottaviano said workers can try to stay cool by taking additional breaks and staying hydrated. But there are no regulations that require employers to protect their employees on extremely hot days, said Rick Rabin, a trainer and technical consultant for the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health.

Workers who are living in the country illegally are at the greatest risk, Rabin said, because they may fear their employers will call immigration authorities on them if they ask for breaks or aren’t as productive in the sweltering weather.

“[The Occupational Safety and Health Administration] is in the process of establishing a heat standard. But we’ll be lucky if we see that in the next five years,” Rabin said.

Once OSHA announces a safety standard for extreme heat, Rabin noted, it’s likely to get challenged in court.

“And so we’ll see a few more years go by, and how many people are going to get very sick and die because of this bureaucratic and political obstacle that we see?” Rabin said.

There are a lot of ways the heat also puts people who are disabled at greater risk of harm or death.

Disability advocates say public notices about the heat may not be comprehensible for people who are blind or deaf, and residents may have a hard time commuting to cooling centers. Plus, the cooling centers themselves aren’t always accessible.

Michael Ashley Stein, director of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, said some people with disabilities also can’t regulate their body temperatures in the heat as well as other folks.

“For example, multiple sclerosis,” Stein said. “The effect on people with MS and other conditions whose nervous systems are not functioning exactly according to the norm is detrimental.”

Stein pointed to a 2022 study of Australian heat wave fatalities between 2001 and 2018 that found that 89% of 354 people who died had one or more disabilities. And during a 2021 heat wave in Canada, the majority of people who died were elderly, had a disability, lived in poorer neighborhoods or lived alone.

Bill Henning, director of the Boston Center for Independent Living, said a big reason why people with disabilities in Massachusetts suffer from the heat is they don’t have air conditioning units in their homes or apartments. That can leave them at risk of heat stroke or other cardiovascular respiratory incidents.

Henning stressed that as heat waves occur more often due to climate change, all housing for people with disabilities should include air conditioning.

“We think so much about comfort,” Henning said. “But it’s not just comfort … for people who may have health conditions, disabilities where body regulation of heat is a challenge.”