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  3:33 pm
Commenter: Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action

Protect Workers Against Heat Illness

Workers must be protected from the serious risks of heat stress.  Heat kills more workers than any other health related hazard.1 Workers currently have no enforceable protections against heat stress either federally or in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  This lack of protection puts the health of Virginians at risk each day from heat exposure, including heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and even death.  Between 1992 and 2016, at least 783 workers died of heat stress and 69,374 workers were seriously injured.2  

The Commonwealth must step up and protect its workers by enacting legislation to protect against both heat and cold stress.  These protections include appropriate acclimatization, interval breaks, regular access to water, ADA protections, and climate preparedness plans. 


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 Sidney Wolfe, M.D., Founder and Senior Advisor, Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, to Loren Sweatt, Acting Asst. Sec. of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, Dept. of Labor 8-9 (July 17, 2018), (last accessed June 2, 2021).

CommentID: 98986