• Jackson Shields Yeiser

OSHA Seeks Employers’ Assistance In Formulating Heat Hazards Rule

By Paula Jackson

Dec. 6, 2021

OSHA recently announced that it intends to develop a heat-related workplace rule to better protect workers from heat-related illness and injuries. Therefore, it is soliciting employers’ help in determining exactly what that rule should entail. [1]

According to OSHA, “[h]eat is the leading cause of death among all weather-related phenomena.” In addition, heat exposure can cause serious injuries such as heat stroke and death and can worsen conditions like asthma, heart problems, and kidney disease. Since its General Duty Clause has not been as effective as possible in preventing heat-related illnesses and injuries in the workplace, OSHA wants to provide employers with a more specific set of instructions on implementing an effective heat-related safety program. OSHA believes this should reduce hazards that indoor and outdoor workers could otherwise face when exposed to excessive heat.

OSHA “is interested in obtaining additional information about the extent and nature of hazardous heat in the workplace and the nature and effectiveness of interventions and controls used to prevent heat-related injury and illness.” More information about OSHA’s proposed rule can be found at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/10/27/2021-23250/heat-injury-and-illness-prevention-in-outdoor-and-indoor-work-settings. Employers can submit their comments to potentially help OSHA craft the heat-related rule at www.regulations.gov by January 26, 2022. For example, employers may wish to contribute information about “heat-stress thresholds, heat-acclimatization planning, and exposure monitoring.”

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[1] See https://www.osha.gov/heat-exposure/rulemaking.

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