When the heat index exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit, OSHA will issue new rules to combat the heat.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the Department of Labor is poised to announce a new rule to combat heat illness when the heat index exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
On days when the heat index exceeds the prescribed temperature, the new rule will emphasize interventions and workplace inspections to assist avoid heat-related illnesses in both outdoor and indoor work settings.
The OSHA rule comes as the Biden administration works to protect employees and communities from excessive heat after record-breaking temperatures in the Pacific Northwest killed hundreds of people and Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana.
The rule, according to the White House, is a key step toward a federal heat standard, and inspectors will broaden their jurisdiction to address heat-related dangers in American workplaces.
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
Heat stress, according to White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy, is a “silent killer” that disproportionately affects the poor, elderly, and minorities. “Heat stress is a substantial, real concern that has terrible consequences,” McCarthy said in an interview, while not as dramatic as wildfires or hurricanes.
“Many individuals don’t realize heat stress is a real bodily concern until it’s too late,′′ she said.
The initiative to combat heat stress comes as President Joe Biden meets with world leaders to discuss next actions in combating climate change that is quickly deteriorating.
Hundreds of deaths and thousands of emergency department visits for heat-related ailments were reported during a June heat wave in the Pacific Northwest, which was exacerbated by climate change. When Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana on August 29, more than a million people lost electricity, including the whole city of New Orleans. According to the Louisiana Health Department, heat was responsible for at least 12 of the 28 Ida-related deaths in Louisiana.
The Labor Department is initiating a program to safeguard outdoor workers, such as agricultural, construction, and delivery workers, as well as those working indoors in warehouses, factories, and kitchens, as part of the administration’s plan. According to the White House, farm and construction workers are most at danger of heat stroke and other illnesses, but other people who do not work in climate-controlled workplaces are also at risk.
“Rising temperatures are posing a serious hazard to millions of Americans who are exposed to the weather, as well as children in schools without air conditioning. This is a condensed version of the information.