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Chairman Scott Applauds Biden Effort to Protect Workers and Families from Extreme Heat

09.20.21

WASHINGTON – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after President Biden announced an Administration-wide effort to protect workers and families from extreme heat. The effort includes the start of a new Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) rulemaking process to develop a workplace heat standard.

 

“I applaud the Biden Administration for launching this critical effort to protect workers and their families from extreme heat. Excessive heat is one of the most common and dangerous workplace hazards. Yet, half a century after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was established, we still have no federal standard that protects workers against heat illnesses and fatalities. 

“As climate change continues to make historic heat waves more frequent and more dangerous, workers and their families desperately need strong safety standards. Today’s announcement is an important step to securing basic protections for workers in fields, factories, warehouses, and other workplaces. California’s state OSHA program and the U.S. military have demonstrated that effective strategies for protecting workers – such as requiring employers to provide rest breaks, water, and adequate shade or cooling during high-temperature days – are both low-cost and easy to implement.

“In March, when I joined Congresswoman Chu, Congresswoman Adams, and Congressman Grijalva in introducing legislation that would require OSHA to establish a federal heat standard, I noted that OSHA has the authority and responsibility to act on its own. I am glad that the Biden Administration is now launching this initiative. Workers are counting on OSHA to conduct a thorough and expedited rulemaking process that will avert a surge of heat-related illnesses and preventable deaths.

“Without urgent action, the human and financial costs of excessive heat will continue to climb. I look forward to working with the Administration to protect workers and families. This is yet another reason why we must pass the Build Back Better Act, which provides OSHA the resources it needs to enforce workplace safety standards.”

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