Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Oregon AFL-CIO Partners with Environmental Coalition to Strengthen Heat and Smoke Rules for Worker Safety

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Oregon Occupational Safety and Health (Oregon OSHA) released final draft rules and opened a comment period on rules to protect workers from excessive heat and wildfire smoke. Comments can be submitted now, and there will be public hearings between now and March 18. The Oregon AFL-CIO has teamed up with Pineros Y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste, Oregon Environmental Council, Northwest Workers’ Justice Project and Climate Jobs PDX to make sure the rules protect workers.

“We know that Oregon’s excessive heat and smoke problems will continue in the summer months, and workers must be protected,” said Graham Trainor (IBEW), president of the Oregon AFL-CIO. “Oregon’s unions are firmly committed to making sure Oregon OSHA creates the strongest rules possible so that outdoor or indoor workers who are exposed to excessive heat and wildfire smoke are protected as best as possible. The stakes are too high for anything less.”

Excessive heat and smoke from wildfires have been shown to harm a variety of workers, including farmworkers, warehouse workers, people who work at hazardous waste facilities, bus drivers and more.

This blog originally appeared at AFL-CIO on 2/28/2022.

About the Author: Kenneth Quinell is a Senior Writer at AFL-CIO.

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Madeline Messa

Madeline Messa is a 3L at Syracuse University College of Law. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. With her legal research and writing for Workplace Fairness, she strives to equip people with the information they need to be their own best advocate.