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Biden Administration Introduces Plans to Protect Workers From Extreme Heat

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Biden Administration Introduces Plans to Protect Workers From Extreme Heat

The U.S. Department of Labor is ramping up its enforcement of heat safety violations amid record-breaking temperatures across the country

August 1, 2023
Construction worker drinking water
Image: gabrijelagal / Stock.adobe.com

Following the planet’s hottest month on record, Joe Biden on Thursday asked the U.S. Department of Labor to issue its first hazard alert for heat, which, according to Construction Dive, will instruct employers on how to protect workers and inform them of their rights under federal law. 

More than 400 workers have died from environmental heat exposures since 2011, and thousands more are hospitalized annually. As a result, advocacy groups like the National Council of Occupational Safety and Health are calling for a national standard to protect workers from health threats caused by climate change, from smoke inhalation to heat stress and extreme weather events.

The DOL also will up its enforcement of heat safety violations by increasing its inspections in industries like construction and agriculture.

The federal government also will invest up to $7 million to improve national weather forecasts and $152 million to improve water storage and provide safe drinking water in California, Colorado and Washington, the White House said.

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