Biden Administration Launches Measures to Protect Workers from Extreme Heat

The administration of United States President Joe Biden has launched on Sept. 20 new initiatives to protect workers from extreme heat linked to climate change.

Biden announced “an all-of-government effort” to provide safe and healthy working conditions to protect workers and communities from extreme heat, which is currently the leading weather-related killer in the country.

“My Administration will not leave Americans to face this threat alone,” Biden said in a statement.

As part of the new initiatives, the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will develop a workplace heat standard and implement an enforcement initiative on heat-related hazards to prioritize heat-related interventions and inspections of work activities on days when the heat index exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

OSHA will also establish a National Emphasis Program on heat hazard cases, which will target high-risk industries and focus its resources and staff time on heat inspections.

Other actions the government is taking to protect communities from extreme heat include providing assistance to develop cooling centers within public schools facilities, and using reports by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Agriculture Department to identify and address disproportionate heat impacts, according to the White House.

The White House also said that the new initiatives also include enhancing research and planning tools such as the National Integrated Heat Health Information System and the Heat and Health Tracker of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Biden also urged Congress to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and the Build Back Better Agenda.

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