For Immediate Release
Contact: Nick Voutsinos

AFSCME’s Saunders: New heat standards reflect the realities of working in 2024

WASHINGTON – AFSCME President Lee Saunders released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Labor announced new heat standards:

“Climate change is undeniable — the last eight years on earth are the hottest on record. Workers are feeling it the most, with heat-related illnesses and injuries rising alongside record temperatures. The Biden administration is stepping up, proposing new heat standards through OSHA that will finally align worker protections with today's environmental challenges. For AFSCME members — whether they’re paving roads, collecting garbage, driving students to school, directing traffic or maintaining safety in corrections facilities — these safeguards will provide much-needed relief on the job, helping them sustain the essential public services we rely on. What’s more, this will provide long-awaited peace of mind to their loved ones at home.

“These new heat standards, together with the recently introduced Public Service Worker Protection Act, would keep workers safe while reflecting the realities of working in 2024. More importantly, they will save lives.”