New Federal Rule to Safeguard Workers from Extreme Heat 

New Federal Rule to Safeguard Workers from Extreme Heat. Credit | Reuters
New Federal Rule to Safeguard Workers from Extreme Heat. Credit | Reuters

United States: To help workers stay safe in the summer heat, President Biden’s team proposed a new rule this Tuesday. If it becomes official, the rule will protect around 36 million workers in the U.S. from getting hurt or sick because of hot weather at their jobs.  

Who Will the New Rule Protect? 

As mentioned in U.S. News this includes people who work as delivery drivers, construction workers, landscapers, and in places like warehouses, factories, and kitchens. The new rule will make sure these workers have ways to stay cool and safe while they work. 

“From the record-shattering or can say a heat wave which has never been experienced  across the Midwest and Northeast, to devastating flooding in Iowa and Minnesota, to raging wildfires in New Mexico, Oregon and California, communities in every corner of the country are being directly impacted by the compounding effects of extreme weather,” the White House said in a statement announcing the proposal.  

President Biden. Credit | Getty Images
President Biden. Credit | Getty Images

Why Is This Rule Important? 

“Today, the President is receiving an operational briefing on extreme weather forecasts for this summer, and he will be announcing the new steps to protect the workers and families from the deadly impacts of this weather. 

However, under this processed rule employers would be required to identify the heat dangers to actually develop the emergency response the plans which are related to heat illness and train employees and supervisors on the for the signs of heat illness and they would also have to provide rest breaks, provide shade and water  and allow the new workers to build their tolerance for heat on the job. 

What Will the New Rule Do? 

As reported by the Associated press there are some penalties  for heat-related violations in workplaces would also increase majorly , to come in line with what workplaces are issued for most violations of any Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule. 

Penalties for Breaking the Heat Safety Rules 

Approximately estimation of  2,300 Americans died from heat-related illness in 2023, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Workers with exposure to extreme heat are among the most vulnerable to heatstroke and other illnesses related to heat wave 

The U.S. Labour Department has been developing a standard for how workplaces deal with heat since 2021, with OSHA having held meetings last year to hear about how the proposed measures could affect small businesses, the AP reported. 

Federal Rule Will Override State Measures 

In the end,  the Biden administration’s rule would override any state measures, and states with procedures to deal with heat would have to put measures in place that are at least as stringent as the federal rule.