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

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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, http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/86-113.html

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.

Public Comments
Aug 6th, 2016
Someone from Emporia, KS writes:
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I have just finished my 15th school year as a bus driver here in east central Kansas. I love my job but when the temperature tops 100 degrees and the heat index is 105 degrees and you are in the bus for 2 1/2 hours you get so hot especially on the afternoon routes that it really effects your thinking and reaction time. We wear wet towels draped behind our necks to try to stay cool and they are usually dry by the time we get back to the yard. Air conditioning should be mandatory on all buses. Especially when training for drivers starts in early August. School starts this year for students on August 17th. Probably why the kids call the buses easy bake ovens....
Aug 5th, 2016
Someone from Madison, AL writes:
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School is starting earlier every year. It's beyond hot in Alabama in August. My kids have come home the last 3 days red faced, bloodshot eyes, exhausted, and sick to their stomachs. We've been told that bus transportation is a privileged. I am disabled and can not drive so my kids have no choice but to ride these mobile ovens and suffer. A little sweat never hurt anyone but this is beyond a little sweat. This is borderline child endangerment. We are required by law to send our kids to school daily. Shouldn't the schools be required by law to ensure our children are safe and not exposed to such dangerous conditions? Today a tech school bus transporting from tech back to the main school broke down. For 20 minutes school held all of the other buses that were fully loaded with students ready to go home waiting for the handful of tech students to get a new business and return to the school.The fully loaded buses were not moving therefor it did nothing not even a slight breeze to have windows down. My daughter puked as soon as she got into the house.the feels like temp. was 110 today while all those kids we stuck there being unable to unboard.
Aug 4th, 2016
Someone from Emporia, KS writes:
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This will be my 4th year driving a school bus. The temperature here in Kansas also get unbearable when my clock with a temp gauge tells me I am sitting in a 115 degree bus. Yes some of my students are not on my bus for a long time but I do have some that are on for over a hour and a half. I am on there for for close to 2 hours. I can tell you I go home feeling like a train hit me every day till it cools down.
Aug 4th, 2016
Someone from Seminary, MS signed.
Aug 3rd, 2016
Someone from Williamstown, NJ signed.
Aug 3rd, 2016
Someone from Ellisville, MS signed.
Aug 3rd, 2016
Someone from Cairo, GA signed.
Aug 1st, 2016
Someone from Newburgh, IN writes:
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Been driving 18 years. It has taken a toll on my body. I believe some regulations & forethought could help.
Aug 1st, 2016
Someone from Evansville, IN signed.
Aug 1st, 2016
Someone from Evansville, IN signed.
Aug 1st, 2016
Someone from Evansville, IN signed.
Aug 1st, 2016
Someone from Evansville, IN signed.
Aug 1st, 2016
Someone from Willard, NC signed.
Jul 31st, 2016
Someone from Weehawken, NJ signed.
Jul 30th, 2016
Someone from Cairo, GA writes:
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I drive a 2002 International Blue Bird for the Grady County BOE. We start school on 07/28/16. The average daily temperature here is south GA is around 95 degrees and the humidity is in the high 90's making the feel like temperature outside to be between 105 and 115 degrees. The bus I drive along with all of our fleet except for a few special needs buses do not have air conditioning. I am on the bus around 2 1/2 hours in the morning and afternoon and the afternoons up until around Mid October are just about unbearable. Something needs to be done that would make it mandatory for all school buses to have working air conditioning on them regardless of manufacturer date.
Jul 27th, 2016
Someone from Brooklyn, NY writes:
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My children can spend up to an hour on the school bus. The results can be fatal when you combine ninety degree weather with non AC busses,
Jul 27th, 2016
Someone from Macomb, MI signed.
Jul 27th, 2016
Someone from Union City, NJ signed.
Jul 27th, 2016
Someone from Weehawken, NJ writes:
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I am particularly interested in changing the laws that make it mandatory to have air conditioners on all school buses nation wide. A three year old girl passed out on my sons school bus in the middle of a heat wave this past Monday. The children who are all special education children, sit on the hot bus for more than an hour on some days. After complaining to the board of Ed and mayors office several times we were able to get an air conditioned bus. Unfortunately, a small child had to pass out and end up in the emergency room before any action was taken. I live in Weehawken, New Jersey and most of the buses in my local elementary school do not have air conditioning. We must change these laws for the children, bus drivers and aides. It is the humane thing to do.
Jul 27th, 2016
Someone from Jamaica, NY signed.
Jul 26th, 2016
Someone from Reading, PA signed.
Jul 26th, 2016
Someone from Morgan Hill, CA signed.
Jul 25th, 2016
Someone from Lowell, MA writes:
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I am a monitor for special needs and it is horrible to know that within this heat wave we are having to not have good air quality when even getting weather alerts in New England.
Jul 25th, 2016
Someone from Henderson, KY signed.
Jul 25th, 2016
Someone from New Kensington, PA writes:
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I am a nuse on a school bus for disabled children some in wheelchairs it is not good to have these children on hot buses as they are compromised already and many have seizure issues brought on by the heat.
Jul 25th, 2016
Someone from Carlsbad, NM writes:
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In the summer in New Mexico it get 110 to 115 outside school bus gets 130 I'm on the bus in the afternoon for 4 hours what would happen if someone was to pass out because of the heat and have kids on bus
Jul 24th, 2016
Someone from New Washington, IN signed.
Jul 24th, 2016
Someone from Floyds Knobs, IN signed.
Jul 24th, 2016
Someone from Greenville, IN signed.
Jul 24th, 2016
Someone from New Albany, IN writes:
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I have been a School Bus Driver for over 13 years and have always wondered WHY it is we don't have air-conditioning on them. The kids are not on the buses that long and they are young enough to endure their short ride home- BUT the drivers such as myself are on them for hours and this is VERY UNHEALTHY to say the least!!! When it is 90+ temps outside it is over 110 on the bus. Our fans blow Hot Air and as slow as we drive, get caught in traffic, and the body heat.from 50-70 kids; We are roasting... feels like we are going to Pass out at the wheel. Please Congress make it Mandatory to have Air on our buses. They always say it's about Money/ I hate to see something Bad happen to an entire bus load of kids before they do something about this.Is this what it is going to take to get someone to take action? I surly hope Not... Respectfully, Leslie
Jul 24th, 2016
Someone from Denham Springs, LA signed.
Jul 24th, 2016
Someone from Henderson, KY signed.
Jul 23rd, 2016
Someone from Newark, NJ writes:
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I've been a school bus driver for the last 20 years. I have known for not only bus drivers but bus aides to pass out from the heat. They have no protection from the job if it's found out they would be fired. Because it's a risk the job not willing to take. During the summer the drivers are stuck on the bus for six to eight hours a day. This summer the temperature on my bus was 108 at 1 o'clock it's crazy way wait. Until someone dies you know.
Jul 23rd, 2016
Someone from Clinton, SC signed.
Jul 23rd, 2016
Someone from Mauldin, SC writes:
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Over crowded buses and extreme heat from the bus along with the weather, should be a concern for every parent that has a child that rides a bus.
Jul 23rd, 2016
Someone from Maurice, LA writes:
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The ones that say we don't need air conditions should have to ride the whole first 2 weeks of school. All of them need to ride.
Jul 21st, 2016
Someone from Chicago, IL writes:
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All school buses need to have air conditioning especially the way the weather in the USA has been
Jul 18th, 2016
Someone from Hudson, MI signed.
Jul 18th, 2016
Someone from Saint Paul, MN writes:
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Been a school bus driver for over 15 years, there certainly is a need to extend the same osha protections that truck drivers have, especially when the "cargo" we carry is people's children. Fumes, toxicity, and the level of pathogens especially during the flu season is considerable and for large buses there us simply no money or time given to keep them clean.
Jul 18th, 2016
Someone from Morgan Hill, CA signed.

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