What To Know About Biden Admin’s Heat Protections Proposal

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

(ConservativeHub.com) – As temperatures rise across the country, the Biden administration has introduced a proposal to establish the nation’s first standards aimed at safeguarding workers from extreme heat conditions. 

Under the proposed regulations, employers would be required to ensure rest breaks, and provide access to shade and water for employees working in high heat environments. Additionally, employers would need to assess heat-related hazards and create comprehensive plans for heat illness prevention and emergency response.

Arizona State Senator Anna Hernandez (D) called it a “welcome” move. However, she said she believes there is a need for legislation protecting workers due to the fragility of executive action.

One worker, Victor Perez, told CBS News that he believes all companies should implement such protections.

Industry groups and business associations have pushed back on federally regulated heat protections in the past. Some argue that it would be difficult to create a single rule that could successfully apply across the entire United States.

It remains uncertain if these standards will be implemented soon. The proposal may not be finalized before the end of Biden’s current term, and its continuation under a potential future Trump administration seems doubtful.

The Biden administration has emphasized that the implementation of these standards could save lives. Currently, there are no federal regulations specifically addressing heat protection for workers, although some states and localities have introduced their own measures. However, states like Texas and Florida have prohibited local governments from enacting heat protection regulations for workers.

The push for these heat standards began in 2021, and the administration has been developing the proposal since.

Moreover, the administration announced it is allocating nearly $1 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law towards enhancing protection against natural disasters, including heat waves and flooding. This funding will support 656 projects across the nation.

These announcements are particularly timely, as recent weeks have brought high temperatures to many parts of the country.

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