Maryland Takes Action to Protect Workers from Occupational Heat Exposure; Urges Congress and Biden to Enact an Emergency Extreme Heat Standard Before Summer

On Wednesday, Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown announced that he has joined a coalition of 11 Attorneys General to protect farmworkers and construction workers from
the dangers of exposure to extreme heat in the workplace.

Per the news release: The coalition petitioned the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to implement a nationwide emergency extreme heat standard to take effect this summer to protect these workers from heat exposure. Despite rising temperatures and intensifying heat waves, and the grave dangers they pose to workers, OSHA currently has no occupational heat standard in place. The coalition also called on Congress to pass pending legislation directing OSHA to put into effect an interim heat standard while it considers a permanent standard, and they urged the White House to support these efforts to protect the nation’s most heat-vulnerable workers.

“Marginalized communities make up a higher percentage of workers in the agriculture and construction industries and are oftentimes forced to work under extreme conditions to earn a
livelihood,” said Attorney General Brown. “These workers deserve standards that protect their health and safety, especially when their lives are on the line supporting the foundation of our
economy.”

Extreme heat refers to a period of excessively hot weather with above average temperatures, usually combined with high humidity. Climate change is increasing the severity, duration, and
frequency of extreme heat events. Extreme heat exposure affects millions of workers across the country and can cause a range of heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke and heat
exhaustion. Prolonged, repeated exposure to extreme heat can even cause chronic kidney disease.

Extreme heat can also negatively impact preexisting medical conditions, such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and can even worsen psychiatric conditions.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least 436 workers died from heat exposure from 2011 through 2021. Summer 2023 was the hottest summer ever recorded in the Northern
Hemisphere, bringing soaring temperatures and unrelenting heatwaves to communities across the United States. As a result, vulnerable workers such as farm and construction workers endured
unprecedented heat and humidity, resulting in several deaths:

• In June 2023, a 46-year-old construction worker died from hyperthermia at an outdoor construction site in East Texas, when the region was experiencing daily high
temperatures around 100°F.
• In June 2023, a 66-year-old postal worker who had delivered mail in Dallas, Texas for 35 years died of heat stroke while working in extreme heat conditions.
• In July 2023, a 26-year-old farmworker and father of two died of heat stroke after collapsing in a field near Yuma, Arizona as temperatures soared above 110°F.
• In July 2023, a 29-year-old Guatemalan immigrant died while picking fruit on a farm in Homestead, Florida during an unprecedented heatwave.
• In August 2023, a warehouse worker died while working in part of a distribution center in Memphis, Tennessee that did not have air conditioning.

Summer 2024 is expected to be even hotter than 2023, putting workers at even greater risk of heat-related illness, injury, and death.
In the petition, the coalition reminds OSHA that the agency is legally obligated to set an emergency temporary standard if it finds that workers are exposed to a grave danger in the
workplace and an emergency standard is necessary to protect workers from that danger. The potential danger of extreme heat impacts a range of occupations but is particularly severe for
farmworkers and construction workers. Farmworkers are 35 times more likely to die of heat exposure than other members of the general population, and construction workers account for 36
percent of heat-related workplace deaths each year. The coalition calls on OSHA to fulfill its legal obligation to workers and issue an emergency temporary standard, including a heat
exposure threshold and required preventative measures, such as water breaks and shade, for farmworkers and construction workers by May 1.

In addition, the coalition is calling on Congress to pass and the White House to sign the Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness, Injury, and Fatality Prevention Act (H.R. 4897/S. 2501),
legislation that would direct OSHA to establish near- and long-term measures to protect workers from extreme heat. The legislation is named for Asunción Valdivia, a farmworker who died of
heatstroke after picking grapes for 10 hours in extreme heat.

Compared to other workers, illness, injury, and death from heat exposure impacts workers of color and low-wage workers more. These populations are also overrepresented in those
occupations most vulnerable to extreme heat, including labor-intensive outdoor work like agriculture and construction. OSHA has previously recognized that certain workers are at an
increased risk of occupational heat illness not only because of the nature of their work, but also because of factors such as race, ethnicity, or language.

In petitioning OSHA and sending letters to Congress and the White House, Attorney General Brown joins the Attorneys General of New York, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of
Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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