White House Initiates Federal Action to Protect Workers Extreme Heat
New Initiatives at OSHA and Across Agencies Will Enhance Workplace Safety, Build Local Resilience, and Address Disproportionate Heat Impacts
Today, President Biden is launching a coordinated, interagency effort to respond to extreme heat that threatens the lives and livelihoods of Americans, especially workers, children, and seniors. While climate-related disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, and floods produce dramatic images of devastation, extreme heat often takes place out of sight and out of the news. But heat is the nation’s leading weather-related killer.
The United States experienced a dangerously hot summer this year, breaking records last set during the Dust Bowl. The climate crisis is making heat waves more intense and frequent – endangering workers and communities. During the June 2021 heat wave in the Pacific Northwest, states reported hundreds of excess deaths and thousands of emergency room visits for heat-related illness. Climate scientists have concluded that this heat wave would have been virtually impossible without climate change. Millions of U.S. workers are exposed to heat in their workplaces, and essential jobs with high exposure levels are disproportionately held by Black and Brown workers. Heat also poses higher risks in urban centers and to children, seniors, economically disadvantaged groups, and those with underlying health conditions.
Article Continued at: White House Federal Action Heat Stress