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Biden administration to release first federal safety standard for workers exposed to excessive heat

Biden administration to release first federal safety standard for workers exposed to excessive heat

Biden administration to release first federal safety standard for workers exposed to excessive heat

By Kent Porter/AP

A wildfire burns uphill west of Petaluma, California, Friday, June 30, 2023.



CNN

The Biden administration on Tuesday will announce the nation’s first federal safety rule for excessive heat in the workplace at a time when millions of Americans are under extreme heat warnings and advisories.

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule proposes that employers have new requirements to identify heat hazards to workers, how workers develop heat illnesses and how employers would respond to keep their employees safe.

Also on Tuesday, President Joe Biden will be briefed on an extreme weather forecast, wildfire season and this year’s hurricane outlook, senior administration officials said, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is announcing it will award nearly $1 billion for more than 650 climate resilience projects, funded as part of the 2021 infrastructure bill.

Heat and weather brought on by climate change have left their mark across the country this spring and summer. In just the past few weeks, several regions of the United States have experienced scorching temperatures, some of which have broken records.

“Tens of millions of Americans are suffering from the effects of extreme weather events,” a senior Biden administration official told reporters at a news conference. “The July 4 holiday week is expected to feature dangerously high heat conditions in several regions across the country.”

Hot, dry conditions have fueled deadly wildfires in New Mexico and other parts of the Western U.S., and extremely warm ocean temperatures have helped fuel the rapid strengthening of Hurricane Beryl from a tropical storm into a Category 5 hurricane, becoming the earliest Category 5 hurricane on record in the Atlantic Ocean and the only Category 5 hurricane in the month of June.

Adding to the deadly and costly spring tornado and thunderstorm season are summer disasters. The administration recently requested an additional $9 billion to help replenish FEMA’s disaster relief fund in a supplemental budget request it sent to Congress last week, the senior administration official said.

“Whether (the disaster relief fund) is in the red depends on the scope, scale and number of disasters we have,” the official said. “That’s why it’s imperative that we get that replenishment as part of the supplemental package.”