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OSHA directed to create new regulations protecting workers in extreme heat

EL PASO, Texas - The Biden administration is looking to find new ways to protect working Americans from extreme heat. Above 80 degrees Fahrenheit will be considered the extreme heat level, as Biden believes it is important to protect workers from unsafe working conditions outside in hot weather.

Of course, different regions of the country experience different types of weather; 80-degrees in El Paso might feel nice to those who live here, but 80-degrees in North Dakota might not feel so nice. This push to protect outdoor workers comes after a summer where the Pacific Northwest saw numerous triple-digit days, and an estimated 1,260 heat deaths in the U.S. and Canada.

Raul Luna, director of operations of RL Roofing Company, said he provides his workers with plenty of water, and allows them to take breaks every hour or so on a daily basis. And when temperatures exceed 100-degrees, he indicated those workers get more frequent breaks in the shade.

If workers come wearing clothes not suited for the work they will be doing that day, "we'd send them back. They cannot go on the roof if they are not properly dressed," Luna said.

Items such as safety gloves and glasses, long sleeves, and certain boots are mandatory to be able to do the roofing work for the roofing company.

Biden has asked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to create new regulations protecting workers from extreme heat, as well as conduct more inspections to ensure that workers are safe on hot days.

Katie Frazier

Katie Frazier is an ABC-7 meteorologist and reporter.


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