OSHA isn’t the only U.S. Department of Labor agency that’s worried about workers being affected by extreme heat this summer as the Wage and Hour Division just launched its own heat awareness campaign.
“Operation Beat the Heat” is the division’s effort to reduce heat safety violations and heat-related injuries and illnesses in the agricultural industry.
Since 2019, the Wage and Hour Division has conducted more than 2,659 agricultural industry investigations and cited more than 100 employers for violations related to heat-related illnesses or injuries. The division also assessed industry employers with more than $20.1 million in fines for the nature of their violations.
Includes education, outreach, enforcement
The campaign is a coordinated education, outreach and enforcement effort meant specifically to protect migrant and seasonal workers in the southwestern U.S.
“Using a data-focused targeted approach, the division seeks to ensure farmworkers and their advocates understand the risks that heat injuries present, and provides guidance on how to file a complaint to report possible violations,” a news release on the campaign states.
The division will also focus on educating growers, farm labor contractors, other agricultural employers and industry stakeholders to promote a greater understanding of their responsibilities to prevent heat-related injuries and illnesses.