5,000 signatures reached
To: Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Urge OSHA to implement immediate heat standards
The summer heat is beginning and the majority of farm workers are still unprotected. OSHA must implement immediate heat rules.
Farm workers are as much as 35 times more likely to die from heat than any other civilian occupation. Climate change is worsening this hazard. In recent years, record-high temperatures have been seen across the country. These extreme temperatures could make thousands of farm workers seriously ill -- and even suffer heat stroke and die. Outdoor workers need more than general duty clauses. They need enforceable protections so dangerous incidents never happen.
Heat deaths are preventable tragedies. The prevention is nothing complicated: shade, cool water, rest, education and monitoring.
Why is this important?
The summer heat has begun and farm workers and other outdoor workers desperately need a federal heat standard. With the way the government has shifted to the right, the need is more urgent than ever. An example occurred on June 17. Texas is first in work-related heat exposure deaths and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott just made it worse. He signed a bill to nullify local laws mandating water breaks for construction workers. Farm workers will surely face the same risks if conservative values overrule common sense protections in state and local government. The only real solution to save lives is federal action. Demand OSHA enact immediate heat regulations.
Heat risk is real. Climate change is happening and outdoor workers are more and more in danger every year. Extreme temperatures could make thousands of workers seriously ill -- and even suffer heat stroke and die.
Farm workers are as much as 35 times more likely to die from heat than any other civilian occupation. Only a handful of states -- California, Oregon and Washington -- have policies on farm work in extreme heat. This lack of regulations puts farm workers in an impossible situation where they are forced to choose between making a living and taking care of their health.
Currently, OSHA is relying on the "general duty" clause that says the general duty of an employer is to provide safe working conditions. That's not enough. Instead, workers need more robust enforcement, including criminal proceedings.
The men, women and children working in our fields can't wait. A Department of Labor committee just recommended OSHA pass permanent rules, but that can take years. Workers need immediate heat standards to be put in place NOW -- before people die due to political gamesmanship like Gov. Abbott's move. Leaders in Congress have been working on this, but to date, nothing has been passed.
Heat deaths are preventable tragedies. The prevention is nothing complicated: shade, cool water, rest, education and monitoring. Sign our petition today and demand OSHA enact immediate heat regulations NOW!