Ranking Member Scott Applauds Biden Administration for Protecting Workers from Extreme Heat

WASHINGTON – Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued 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.

 “Today, the Department of Labor took a crucial step forward in protecting America’s workers by advancing a proposed rule aimed at mitigating health risks associated with heat exposure.  Extreme heat in the workplace is not just about being uncomfortable on a hot day. When combined with heavy workloads, clothing, and high humidity, excessive heat can lead to illnesses, injuries, and sometimes death. No worker should have to fear that they may not make it home to see their family.

“The proposed rule requires employers to provide essential safeguards such as water, rest breaks, and shaded or cool rest areas. These measures are simple, yet critical, as increasingly extreme temperatures pose heightened risks to workers' health and safety, particularly during the summer months.

“We’ve known for a long time about the need to protect working people from the heat. References to heat stress can be found as far back as ancient Greece and even the Bible. Our own military has taken safeguards against heat stress for decades. The Biden Administration is proposing simple, commonsense measures to protect working people and I look forward to working alongside the Administration to keep protecting America’s workers.”

This announcement follows years of advocacy led by Ranking Member Scott, Rep. Chu, Rep. Grijalva, 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.


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