Workers Are Burning in This Vicious Heat Wave
Heat Stress Expert Available
America is suffering through a vicious summer heat wave that impacts the East Coast and most of the nation. The sweltering temperatures are particularly dangerous for millions of workers from New Mexico to Washington, D.C.
Workers in agriculture and construction are at highest risk of heat-related injury, but the problem affects all workers exposed to heat, including drivers and indoor workers without climate-controlled environments. Excessive heat can cause heat stroke and even death if not treated properly. It also exacerbates existing health problems like asthma, kidney failure and heart disease. This heat wave has already claimed the life of former New York Giant Mitch Petrus, 32, who died of heat stroke after working outside in one hundred degree temperatures at his family’s business.
Advocacy groups, including Public Citizen, have mounted a national campaign to pressure the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to establish protections for workers who are subject to extreme heat. In the summer of 2018, Public Citizen and a network of more than 130 labor, environment and public health organizations petitioned OSHA to issue a rule to protect workers from heat. The campaign is designed to win that standard and raise awareness about the impacts of the climate crisis and rising temperatures on the health and safety of outdoor and indoor workers.
Last week, U.S. Reps. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) introduced the Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act (H.R. 3668). This commonsense legislation directs OSHA to develop national protections for workers exposed to high heat.
WHO: We urge you to cover the immediate need for federal worker heat protections and have Public Citizen’s Worker Health and Safety Advocate, Shanna Devine on the air to discuss this issue.
Additional resources are:
- OSHA Rulemaking Petition for Heat Standard: https://bit.ly/2PASXvF
- Extreme Heat and Unprotected Workers: https://bit.ly/2NoqhFo
- Unworkable: Dangerous Heat Puts Florida Workers at Risk: https://bit.ly/2yPdIOH
- Support Letter for The Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act: https://bit.ly/2yPdIOH