Skip to content
July 2nd, 2024
Rep. Grijalva’s Statement on First-Ever National Standard to Offer Heat Protection for Millions of Workers

TUCSON, Ariz. – Today, Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07) released the following statement after the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a proposed rule aimed at mitigating health risks associated with heat exposure for America’s workers, both indoors and outdoors. This initiative underscores the Biden Administration’s commitment to prioritizing worker protections amidst escalating concerns over rising temperatures across the country, and States’ attempts to eliminate lifesaving protections.

“Denial of climate change is no longer an option. Every summer record breaking heat is taking hold over our country, and while we’ve failed as a nation to take decisive action to prevent climate change, we must not fail at protecting people from its impacts,” said Rep. Grijalva. “I applaud the Biden administration for issuing this clearly needed labor standard to protect workers from the heat. I encourage them to move it forward with urgency, and adopt a strong final standard that reflects the reality of our future planet.”

This announcement follows years of advocacy led by Ranking Member’s Grijalva and Scott, Rep. Chu, Rep. Adams, Sen. Brown and Sen. Padilla. Last year, the Members reintroduced the Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness, Injury, and Fatality Prevention Act, in memory of Asunción Valdivia, whose tragic death from heatstroke highlighted the urgent need for action. The bill directs the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to establish a permanent, federal standard to protect workers against occupational exposure to excessive heat, both in indoor and outdoor environments.

 Today’s proposed rule would help protect approximately 36 million workers in indoor and outdoor work settings and substantially reduce heat injuries, illnesses and deaths in the workplace. It would require employers to develop an injury and illness prevention plan to control heat hazards in workplaces affected by excessive heat. Among other things, the plan would require employers to evaluate heat risks and — when heat increases risks to workers — implement requirements for drinking water, rest breaks and control of indoor heat. It would also require a plan to protect new or returning workers unaccustomed to working in high heat conditions.

# # #

Back To News