• Wed. Sep 28th, 2022

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US government ramps up effort to put in place ‘too hot to work’ rules

US investigators have carried out an unprecedented number of heat-related workplace inspections this summer, while federal and state governments are adopting measures to protect workers from heat

Environment 9 August 2022

Five construction workers wearing yellow and orange vests and wide-brimmed helmets repair a roof, while one worker in the middle spreads hot tar on the roof's surface.

Workers brave the oppressive heat in Jackson, Mississippi on June 13, 2020 as they reroof the Barfield Complex.

Rogelio V Solis/AP/Shutterstock

As intense heatwaves baked much of the US this summer, federal investigators made more than 700 heat-related inspections at workplaces – more than they carried out in the previous three years combined. The inspection upswing reflects a new emphasis on protecting workers from extreme temperatures as federal plans for a national heat-safety standard go forward in a race to beat the heat.

“There’s a growing understanding that extreme heat isn’t just a nuisance,” says …