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23 Nov

November 2021 Federal Update

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OSHA Begins Process of Creating Standard to Protect Workers from Hazardous Heat (WORK IN PROGRESS)

Update Applicable to:
All businesses with indoor and outdoor worksites.

What happened?
On October 27, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a notice that will begin the process to consider a heat-specific workplace rule for indoor and outdoor worksites with possible heat-hazards.

What are the details?
The notice, titled “Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings,” is the beginning of an enhanced effort to publish a new enforcement initiative to prioritize heat-related inspections and interventions at worksites.

The enforcement initiative applies to indoor and outdoor worksites where potential heat-related hazards exist, such as construction operations, and prioritizes heat-related interventions and inspections of work activities on days when the heat index exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

On these “heat priority days,” the enforcement initiative directs OSHA Area Offices to increase enforcement efforts for specific industries, including construction. The initiative provides enforcement guidance to OSHA Area Offices, including:

  • Prioritizing inspections of heat-related complaints, referrals, and employer-reported illnesses;
  • Instructing compliance officers to be vigilant during job site visits of circumstances where employees may be performing work in hot conditions such as in direct sunlight; and
  • Expanding the scope of other inspections to address heat-related hazards where worksite conditions or other evidence indicates that such hazards may be present.

For more information, please see the links below:

OSHA’s Public Notice

OSHA National News Release

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