Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Biden administration proposes rule for workplaces to address excessive heat

By 37ci3 Jul2,2024



WASHINGTON – The Biden administration on Tuesday proposed a new rule to combat extreme heat in workplaces, as tens of millions of people in the United States are under heat warnings due to rising temperatures.

If finalized, the measure would protect approximately 36 million U.S. workers from heat-related injuries on the job, creating the first major federal safety standard of its kind. Those affected by extreme heat in the workplace include farm workers, delivery and construction workers, landscapers, as well as indoor workers in warehouses, factories and kitchens.

President Joe Biden planned to highlight the rule when he received a briefing on extreme weather and made remarks on Tuesday.

Despite increasing awareness of the risks posed by high temperatures to human health, overheat protection – For those regularly exposed to heat index readings above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) – left behind.

Under the proposed rule, employers would have to identify heat hazards, develop heat illness emergency response plans, and train workers and supervisors on the signs and symptoms of such illnesses. They will also need to create rest breaks for new workers, provide shade and water, and develop heat acclimation or tolerance to higher temperatures.

Penalties for workplace heat violations will increase significantly depending on which workplaces are cited for violating Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, a senior White House administration official said.

In 2023, an estimated 2,300 people died from heat-related illness in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health, workers with prolonged exposure to extreme heat are most susceptible to related health risks such as heat stroke and other illnesses. Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

As the hottest month of the year approaches, millions of Americans will be at greater risk heat strokes, dangerous dehydration and heat-related cardiac stress.

The Department of Labor is developing a standard for how workplaces will deal with heat starting in 2021, and OSHA held meetings last year to hear what the heat was like. the proposed measures may affect small businesses.

Heat protection laws in the US have faced persistent industry opposition, including chambers of commerce and other business associations. Many say it would be difficult to enforce a blanket mandate across such a broad range of industries.

California, Colorado, Oregon, Minnesota and Washington are the only states with workplace standards for heat exposure. Some of the rules have recently come under attack from Republicans. Over the past year, Florida and Texas have passed legislation led by Republicans led by Gov. Ron DeSantis and Gov. Greg Abbott. to prevent local governments from requiring thermal protection for outdoor workers.

If finalized, the Biden administration’s rule would repeal state measures, and states with existing procedures to deal with heat would have to implement measures at least as tough as the finalized federal rule.



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By 37ci3

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