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American Workers Deserve Protection from Heat Stress

2,000 workers die in the U.S. each year from dangerous heat exposure on the job.

Exposure to excessive heat is one of the most dangerous problems facing workers today. Tens of thousands of workers suffer heat illnesses, injuries, and fatalities every year in the U.S. This harm disproportionately affects Black and Brown workers, and low-income workers with limited options for safer employment. This is most clearly demonstrated by the plight of farmworkers, who have the highest rate of heat-related worker deaths.

  • The failure of employers to implement simple heat safety measures costs the U.S. economy nearly $100 billion every year.
  • The dangers of heat stress overwhelmingly impact low-income workers.
  • At least 50,000 injuries and illnesses could be avoided in the U.S. each year with an adequate OSHA heat standard.

Learn More About the Dangers of Heat Stress in our 2023 Report

Read Public Citizen’s 2023 Report on Heat Stress: “Hot Take” to understand the dangers faced by American workers and the steps Congress and OSHA must take to protect them. Congress has the power to protect workers now. The Asuncíon Valdivia Heat Illness, Injury, and Fatality Prevention Act is a bill directing OSHA to institute an interim heat standard for indoor and outdoor workplaces until a final heat rule can be completed.

Read the Report

Heat Stress in The News

Heat Wave and Blackout Would Send Half of Phoenix to E.R., Study Says

New York Times | Michael Levenson

New research warns that nearly 800,000 residents would need emergency medical care for heat stroke and other illnesses in an extended power failure. Other cities are also at risk.