Tuesday, July 2, 2024
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Forced into Overtime Hell


The Unspoken Truth: Extreme Heat is a Silent Killer, and the Government is Finally Taking Notice

The Biden administration is about to unleash a new set of rules that will finally acknowledge the deadliest weather-related risk Americans face: extreme heat. For too long, the government has turned a blind eye to the thousands of workers who are killed or injured every year by heat-related illnesses.

The Shocking Statistics

Heat already kills more people in the US than hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, or any other weather-related disaster. And it’s not just a matter of a few isolated incidents – heat-related illnesses are a chronic problem that affects millions of workers every year. The numbers are staggering: in 2020 alone, heat-related illnesses sent over 70,000 workers to the hospital, and killed over 1,000.

The Unbearable Reality

The truth is, global warming is making the problem worse. Heatwaves are getting longer, more frequent, and more intense, and the government has been woefully unprepared to respond. It’s time for a change.

The Proposed Rules

Under the new rules, employers will be required to take steps to prevent heat-related illnesses and deaths. This includes designating a heat safety coordinator, having procedures in place to respond to symptoms of heat illness, and monitoring workplaces for potentially dangerous conditions. And if the heat index reaches 90F or higher, employers will be required to provide paid breaks every couple of hours, and ensure that workers have access to drinking water and a break area where they can cool down.

The Exclusions

But don’t think for a second that this proposal is a panacea. The rules only apply to certain industries, and leave out millions of workers who are still at risk. Teleworkers, folks who work indoors with air conditioning, and certain emergency responders are all exempt from the new rules.

The Backstory

The proposal has been in the works for years, and it’s a long-overdue recognition of the threat that extreme heat poses to American workers. The Biden administration has been pushing for these rules since 2021, and it’s about time that they’re finally taking action.

The Bottom Line

Extreme heat is a silent killer, and it’s time that we start taking it seriously. The proposed rules are a step in the right direction, but they’re just the beginning. It’s time for the government to take a comprehensive approach to addressing the threat of extreme heat, and to ensure that all workers are protected from this deadly threat.



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