Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

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Heat Rule Proposed

Biden-Harris administration announces proposed rule to protect indoor, outdoor workers from extreme heat

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor has released a proposed rule with the goal of protecting millions of workers from the significant health risks of extreme heat. If finalized, the proposed rule would help protect approximately 36 million workers in indoor and outdoor work settings and substantially reduce heat injuries, illnesses, and deaths in the workplace.

Heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S. Excessive workplace heat can lead to heat stroke and even death. While heat hazards impact workers in many industries, workers of color have a higher likelihood of working in jobs with hazardous heat exposure.

“Every worker should come home safe and healthy at the end of the day, which is why the Biden-Harris administration is taking this significant step to protect workers from the dangers posed by extreme heat,” said Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su. “As the most pro-worker administration in history, we are committed to ensuring that those doing difficult work in some of our economy’s most critical sectors are valued and kept safe in the workplace.”

The proposed rule would require employers to develop an injury and illness prevention plan to control heat hazards in workplaces affected by excessive heat. Among other things, the plan would require employers to evaluate heat risks and — when heat increases risks to workers — implement requirements for drinking water, rest breaks and control of indoor heat. It would also require a plan to protect new or returning workers unaccustomed to working in high heat conditions.

“Workers all over the country are passing out, suffering heat stroke and dying from heat exposure from just doing their jobs, and something must be done to protect them,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Douglas L. Parker. “Today’s proposal is an important next step in the process to receive public input to craft a ‘win-win’ final rule that protects workers while being practical and workable for employers.”