Texas Congressman Advocates for Federal Workplace Heat Standard with Hunger and Thirst Strike
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Texas Congressman Advocates for Federal Workplace Heat Standard with Hunger and Thirst Strike

Texas Congressman Greg Casar staged a hunger and thirst strike on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday to advocate for a federal workplace heat standard.

Texas Congressman Stages a Hunger and Thirst Strike

Casar, who represents Texas’s 35th congressional district, is calling on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to set a heat standard that would protect workers from heat-related illness and death. “We know that heat kills,” Casar said in a statement. “And yet, there is no federal standard to protect workers from heat exposure. This is unacceptable.” According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), heat-related illness is the leading cause of death on the job in the United States. In 2021, there were 108 heat-related deaths among workers in the United States.

Texas Congressman Advocates for Federal Workplace Heat Standard with Hunger and Thirst Strike
Source: CNN

High Heat Risk In Texas

The risk of heat-related illness is especially high in Texas, which is one of the hottest states in the country. In 2021, Texas experienced its hottest summer on record. Casar’s hunger and thirst strike is the latest in a series of actions he has taken to advocate for a federal workplace heat standard. In 2022, he introduced the Workplace Heat Exposure Prevention Act, which would have required OSHA to set a heat standard. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives, but it did not pass the Senate.

Federal Members On Target

Casar is hoping that his hunger and thirst strike will put pressure on OSHA to take action. He is also calling on President Biden to issue an executive order that would establish a heat standard. “We need to take action now to protect workers from heat exposure,” Casar said. “We cannot wait any longer.” Casar’s hunger and thirst strike is scheduled to end on Wednesday. He has said that he will continue to advocate for a federal workplace heat standard until OSHA takes action.

The Importance of a Federal Workplace Heat Standard

A federal workplace heat standard would be an important step in protecting workers from heat-related illness and death. The standard would require employers to take steps to protect workers from heat exposure, such as providing shade, water, and rest breaks. The standard would also be important for workers who are most vulnerable to heat-related illness, such as older workers, pregnant workers, and workers with pre-existing health conditions.

Texas Congressman Advocates for Federal Workplace Heat Standard with Hunger and Thirst Strike
Source: Yahoo News

A federal workplace heat standard would help to ensure that all workers have a safe and healthy work environment. It would also help to prevent needless deaths and injuries.

What You Can Do to Help?

If you are concerned about heat-related illness in the workplace, there are a few things you can do to help. First, you can contact your employer and ask them to implement a heat safety plan. The plan should include steps to protect workers from heat exposure, such as providing shade, water, and rest breaks. You can also contact your state’s OSHA office and ask them to take action to protect workers from heat exposure. Finally, you can contact your elected officials and ask them to support a federal workplace heat standard. By taking these steps, you can help to ensure that all workers have a safe and healthy work environment.

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