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The Biden administration has announced plans to protect workers and communities from extreme heat

Biden administration Presentation Hurricane Ida’s power outage last month killed hundreds of people in an unprecedented heat wave in the northwestern Pacific this summer, causing extreme temperatures to hit Americans on Monday after the death of an elderly person in Louisiana. New measures have been taken to protect against the heat of the hurricane.

Heat is a major domestic cause of meteorological death, and heat waves are becoming more intense and more frequent as the earth warms. In a statement released Monday, President Biden vowed that Americans would not face the threat alone.

“Rising temperatures pose an imminent threat to millions of American workers exposed to the elements, children in unair-conditioned schools, older people in nursing homes without cooling resources, and especially disadvantaged communities. Will bring, “writes President Biden. “Today, I am mobilizing government-wide efforts to protect workers, children, the elderly, and endangered communities from the extreme heat.”

As part of that effort, the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other federal agencies include home and community cooling centers.

The devastating effects of other climate disasters such as hurricanes and floods are often manifested in night news, but victims of heat-related illnesses are often out of the public, primarily because of who is affected. Escape the eyes of.

Millions of workers experience heat stress at work, putting agricultural and construction workers at greatest risk. Indoor workers, especially those that are not adequately cooled in warehouses, factories and restaurants, are also at risk. According to experts, dangerous exposures disproportionately affect people of color, and heat-related deaths are often not misclassified or reported, especially if workers are not documented.

The heat also puts people in the heart of the city with few shaded parks, as well as the elderly, children and economically disadvantaged groups who do not have access to air conditioning.

“Potentially amazing” spikes in dangerous heat

Hundreds of people have died During the record heat that overwhelmed the local cooling center in the Pacific Northwest and the first responders in June, heat-related illnesses and thousands sought treatment in the emergency room. NS Oregon farmer died When temperatures reached 105 degrees Fahrenheit, the urgent need for federal heat standards to protect workers was emphasized. After Hurricane Ida left most of Louisiana without power dozen Of the 28 deaths associated with the storm, exposure to heat was the cause.

Heat waves in the northwestern Pacific would not have been possible without climate change. Scientists say..

And without global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 2019 report The Union of Concerned Scientists has warned that the United States will face a “potentially astonishing” surge in dangerous heat in the coming decades.

By the middle of the century, temperatures “feel” 100 degrees Fahrenheit, more than double the past, and the country could see an average of 36 days a year, according to the report.

Kristina Dahl, senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said: “That said, we know that it will take about eight years for the average OSHA rule to be developed.”

According to Dar, workers are keen on some of the proposed measures, such as strengthening enforcement and inspections on hot days to ensure that employees have shade, water and other protection. Need for

“But there is already a lot of evidence in the published literature and the government’s recommendations on keeping workers safe, so I hope we can somehow facilitate the rule-making process in this case.” She said. “Workers cannot wait eight years for this kind of rule.”

Between 1992 and 2017, more than 815 workers died from heat stress.

In the last few sessions of parliament, the Democratic Party submitted a bill guaranteeing that workers would be protected from heat. In March, California Senator Alex Padilla and Ohio’s Sherrod Brown are 53-year-old California farmers who died of heat stroke in 2004 after harvesting grapes at 105 degrees for 10 hours. We have submitted a heat protection bill named after Asunción Valdivia. heat.

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Senator last month Prompted to the Ministry of Labor Act swiftly to protect workers, saying that “climate change is exacerbating the problem.”

In a statement, Mr Padilla said he was grateful that the Biden administration was working to protect workers from heat-related illnesses and deaths. “Especially for low-income and colored communities that are at the mercy of this climate crisis, we need to address the increased health risks of extreme heat at work,” he said.

According to Dar, the work of outdoor workers is often important to our society and its functioning, and is often invisible in practice.

“One in five working Americans has a job that requires an outdoor job,” she said. “The next time you put lettuce on a plate for dinner or hear the sound of an asphalt truck outside, think about how that person’s work puts them at risk and benefits you. . “

“And think about the kind of society you want to live in. It’s a safe and protected society because workers provide the rest of us with safe, healthy and nourishing. It is desired. “



https://insideclimatenews.org/news/20092021/biden-workers-extreme-heat/ The Biden administration has announced plans to protect workers and communities from extreme heat

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