Biden Implements New Worker Safety Protections After Hottest June On Record

2024 is on track to be the world's hottest year on record thanks to extreme weather patterns brought on by the effects of climate change.

The last 13 months have each shattered individual heat records, with natural disasters intensifying globally.  More than 1,000 people died during the Haj pilgrimage last month, when temperatures reached as high as 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

New Dehli endured an unprecedentedly long heatwave resulting in multiple deaths, and several tourists in Greece have died after taking hikes in the extreme heat.  

Here in America, the extended heatwaves and other effects of climate change are also taking their toll. 

Hurricane Beryl tore through the Caribbean before it hit the Gulf of Mexico, killing three people in Texas and leaving over 2.5 million residents without power. 

In response to the heat emergency across the country, the Biden-Harris administration has released new proposed rules for OSHA regarding worker safety, indoors as well as outdoors, during times of extreme heat.

According to OSHA, "Most outdoor fatalities, 50% to 70%, occur in the first few days of working in warm or hot environments because the body needs to build a tolerance to the heat gradually over time. The process of building tolerance is called heat acclimatization. Lack of acclimatization represents a major risk factor for fatal outcomes."

The new proposed rule 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 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.

Appearing at the Washington, DC Emergency Operations Centers last week, President Joe Biden blasted Republican lawmakers who deny climate change even exists.

“It's not only outrageous, it's really stupid,” President Biden said. The President pointed out that there are both human and financial costs from climate change, saying that weather-inflicted damage last year cost the economy $90 billion.

“More people die from extreme heat than floods, hurricanes and tornadoes combined,” President Biden said. “These climate-fueled extreme weather events don’t just affect people’s lives. They also cost money. They hurt the economy, and they have a significant negative psychological effect on people.”