Request Congress to Extend OSHA Protections to School Bus Operations and School Buses.

Over 23 million students nationwide begin and end their day with a trip on the school bus.

There is a loop hole in federal regulations that does not protect school buses and school bus drivers from OSHA type violations. This is clearly contrary to congressional intent. The purpose that Congress expressed in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (Public Law 91-956) is ?to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources? to ?assure ? that no worker will suffer diminished health, functional capacity, or life expectancy as a result of his work experience.?

This also exposes over 23 million schoolchildren to the same occupational environment as school bus drivers. This lack of protection is clearly unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious. All workers need the same protections. A school bus is a job site and is the working environment for a school bus driver. Now is the time to start protecting your school bus driver and your children.

Occupational illnesses, injuries, and reduced productivity are caused by the working environment on a school bus. Heat stress, fumes from exhaust or diesel fuel, fuel and grease tracked onto the buses by mechanics, sick students coughing and sneezing in a closed bus, body fluids such as vomit and urine, are a few examples of the possible problems on a school bus. Bus companies need to be required to clean these contaminants out of their school buses daily.

The environmental factors of heat stress are air temperature and movement, water vapor pressure (humidity) and radiant heat. Workers at greater risk of heat stress include those who are older, are overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or take medications that may be affected by extreme heat.

School Bus Drivers are generally older and are not well-suited for heat stress environments. Most school buses do not have air conditioning; do not have adequate air movement and bus companies fail to provide drinking water on the bus; or an opportunity for the driver (or passengers/schoolchildren) to cool down. A full size bus has at least 32 windows that promote a greenhouse effect and the buses themselves are large metal boxes that get very hot and radiate heat back into the bus (like an oven). The following symptoms have occurred from heat stress on a school bus: excessive sweating and dehydration; dizziness; lightheadedness; fatigue; weakness; irritability; and being sick and vomiting.

OSHA does not have specific regulations to deal with heat-induced occupational illnesses, injuries, and reduced productivity. These need to be added beyond the OSHA ?general duty clause?. See also, Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Hot Environments,

For the reasons herein, we urge the President and Congress to extend OSHA protections to school buses and school bus drivers; to add specific OSHA regulations for heat-induced occupational illnesses, injuries, and reduced productivity for all workers; to require bus companies to clean all contaminants from their school buses daily; and that air conditioning should be required on all school buses.

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Public Comments (1,107)
Jan 7th, 2018
Erika B. from Londonderry, NH signed.
Jan 6th, 2018
Robin L. from Manchester, NH signed.
Jan 6th, 2018
Amy H. from Londonderry, NH signed.
Jan 6th, 2018
Alicia D. from Londonderry, NH writes:
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To add to this, please increase regulations on fumes/exhaust intake. The fumes come into the bus and make drivers and students nauseous. Currentlh only carbon monoxide is monitored. NO fumes should be coming in.
Jan 6th, 2018
Monica M. from Londonderry, NH signed.
Jan 6th, 2018
Quinetta J. from Derry, NH signed.
Jan 6th, 2018
Jason M. from Derry, NH signed.
Oct 23rd, 2017
Sophano V. from Long Beach, CA signed.
Sep 28th, 2017
Someone from Land O Lakes, FL writes:
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I am a school bus driver and being on that bus for 3 hours at a time without AC is torture. Yes, I chose this career, but I did because it is a rewarding job and I love it! I was a driver in Illinois 15 years ago, and the little bit of heat wasn't bad. But down here in Florida is terrible! I have one kindergartener that is on the bus for 40 minutes in the morning and in the afternoon. The rest of the kids are on the bus anywhere from 15 minutes to 25 minutes. The kindergartener falls asleep on the way home almost every day. He is exhausted and so am I. My daughter is a bus rider, but thankfully she is only on the bus for about 5 to 10 minutes. She is, however, very hot in that little time.
Sep 26th, 2017
Dr. Kristin B. from Lehigh Acres, FL writes:
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Will it take another case of heat stroke or death for the Florida Department of Education to make the 2012 REQUIRED air conditioning changes on all school buses? A parent can be judged negligent and jailed for leaving a child in a hot car. But our children are being left on buses during thunder and lightning storms, according to dismissal procedures, without the benefit of open windows or proper air conditioning. The first week of school 2017, Lee County dismissal was halted for over two hours. The temperatures soared inside the buses. My daughter came home beet faced with hair and clothing soaked. This is not only not okay, it's illegal!

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