Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement after the Biden administration launched a coordinated, interagency effort to respond to the health impacts of extreme heat on American workers. Cortez Masto co-led legislation with Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) to direct the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to create a federal heat standard to help protect workers and communities from the extreme heat, which the administration announced it will now develop as part of this effort.
“This summer was one of Nevada’s hottest on record, and we have got to protect the men and women who are outside working in these conditions. I’m glad the Biden Administration has listened to our calls to respond to this health emergency by creating workplace standards to protect vulnerable workers. I’ll continue to stand up for working Nevadans and ensure they have the protections they need to stay healthy and safe.”
According to recent studies both Reno and Las Vegas are among the fastest warming cities in the nation. In the Las Vegas valley, heat has caused more than 200 deaths in 2018 and 2019 alone. The Biden Administration announced this week that OSHA is issuing Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on heat illness prevention in outdoor and indoor work settings. This is a significant step toward a federal heat standard to ensure more robust workplace protections across the country. The ANPRM will initiate a comment period allowing for OSHA to gather information, diverse perspectives and technical expertise on topics including heat stress thresholds, heat acclimatization planning, and exposure monitoring.
Senator Cortez Masto has been a champion for workers’ rights throughout her career in the Senate. She is an original cosponsor of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to strengthen protections for workers’ right to organize a union and bargain for higher wages, better benefits, and safer working conditions.