The DOL is attempting to take steps to guarantee worker safety in extreme heat from their workplaces. They have attempted to issue heat hazard alerts through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This reminds employers that they have to ensure protection for their workers to avoid heat-related illnesses and injuries. OSHA also attempts to increase its inspections in high-risk industries such as construction and agriculture to ensure workers are safe from heat hazards. President Biden is announcing new actions to protect these workers and communities from the rising heat. Julie Su, Secretary of Labor, has stressed the urgency of this, making the point that these historically high temperatures are putting workers at extreme risk. Implementing these workplace rules may take time, but OSHA’s heat hazard alert increased enforcement efforts that are an attempt to protect millions of workers suffering from heat-related dangers.
The statistics highlight the seriousness of the issue with the following:
- 436 reported deaths due to workplace heat exposure since 2011
- Thousands of heat-related illness cases have led to lost workdays.
Workers without climate control face even higher risks. These risks are even for the people of color employed by these companies. OSHA’s main goal is to alert these employers of crucial information about how to eliminate and reduce heat hazards while simultaneously protecting the rights of the workers. They also are working on launching inspection programs and educational campaigns to promote heat illness prevention.