What’s going on:
A collective of 112 Democratic lawmakers is calling on President Biden’s administration to institute heat safety regulations for both indoor and outdoor workplaces in the U.S. This appeal to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) comes amidst a deadly and persistent heatwave spreading throughout the country, according to Reuters. The lawmakers are seeking new standards for sufficient water supply, sheltered rest breaks, medical training to identify heat-related illnesses, and operational adjustments in workplaces during periods of dangerously high heat.
Why it matters:
As the U.S. grapples with record-breaking summer heat, workplace safety is a growing concern for officials. Lawmakers have underscored the urgency of the issue by referencing the recent heat-related deaths of a U.S. Postal Service worker and an electrical lineman in Texas. They believe that these lethal heatwaves, exacerbated by climate change, necessitate immediate action to help protect U.S. workers.
How it’ll impact the future:
It’s likely that heat safety regulations would have an impact on the working conditions for outdoor and manual labor jobs because employers would be required to develop and implement safety protocols to prevent heat-related illnesses. Some businesses might be able to further mitigate the risks of overheating by investing in new infrastructure to cool workplaces.