(KTXL) — California Attorney General Rob Bonta and attorneys general from 6 other states called on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to take “temporary emergency action” to protect outdoor and indoor workers from extreme heat.

Bonta noted that OSHA started the process to make formal heat protection rules it is expected to take years, “leaving millions of workers exposed to dangerous levels of heat in the interim.”

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In their petition, the attorneys general asked OSHA to require employers to help prevent workers from suffering heat-related injuries by taking steps such as “providing ample water, rest breaks, and access to cool or shaded areas.”

They requested OSHA implement these changes by May 1.

A bill increasing protections for outdoor employees working in temperatures exceeding 105 degrees was introduced in the California Legislature last year and was passed but not before being significantly amended to remove almost all specific heat protection proposals.

Two weeks later, the state experienced record temperatures prompting Cal/OSHA to conduct targeted inspections of employers in construction, agriculture and other outdoor industries.

“As climate change results in longer, more intense, and more frequent heatwaves, workers in California and across the country are increasingly and unnecessarily exposed to dangerous conditions on the job,” Bonta said in a press release.

“We have the tools to address this challenge and we must use them. I urge the federal government to act swiftly to protect workers nationwide,” Bonta continued.

Despite California state law already including some heat protections for outdoor workers, the state reported at least 16 heat-related deaths of workers from 2017-2021.

Attorneys general from New York, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania joined Bonta in making the request.