The actions announced last week by President Biden to protect workers from extreme heat – including ramped up enforcement for heat safety violations and increased inspections in high-risk industries – are a modest step in the right direction.
Tragically, workers are getting sick and dying from the extreme heat driven by climate change. This is no time for modest steps. The President, Congress, federal OSHA and state and local officials must take bold action, now, to reduce risk and save lives.
We must urgently pursue decarbonizing our economy, with a fully-funded just transition to ensure job and income security for affected workers. But workers cannot wait while this process unfolds and we are not helpless in the face of the triple-digit temperatures that are breaking thermometers all over the globe. Heat stroke and heat illness, like other occupational hazards, is preventable.