Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Labor and Industry
Safety and Health Codes Board
Heat Illness Prevention Standard [16 VAC 25 ‑ 210]
Action NOIRA on Heat Illness Prevention
Comment Period Ended on 6/9/2021
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6/8/21  8:39 pm
Commenter: Nicholas Snow, MD

Protecting workers from heat stress

As a physician, it is important to protect the health of workers in our Commonwealth.  Workers currently do not have enforceable protections against heat stress at a federal or in many areas, like the Commonwealth of Virginia, a local level. This lack of regulation puts workers at daily risk of harm. In fact, heat kills more people than any other weather-related hazard.Virginia does not have time to wait for Federal OSHA to act. Many organizations have petitioned in vain for OSHA to follow its duty to protect workers and produce workers' heat stress standards.2 Heat stress protection is vital for ensuring the health and productivity of the Commonwealth’s workers. Thus, to protect workers, the Safety and Health Codes Board must explore the possible options available to them and consider their potential impact. In particular, it is very important they consider providing regular access to water and breaks, preparedness plans, ADA protections, and acclimation protocols, among other possibilities. 

Thank you for your time.

  1.  Georges C. Benjamin, Killer Climate: More Americans Are Dying From Extreme Heat, The Hill (Sep. 12, 2019), (last accessed June 2, 2021).
  2. Letter from Dr. David Michaels, Ph.D, M.P.H., to Sidney Wolfe, Director, Public Health Citizen‘s Research Group 1 (Jun. 7, 2012), (last accessed June 2, 2021).
CommentID: 98995