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News July 2, 2024

DOL releases the text for its proposed heat standard

This morning, the Department of Labor released the text for its proposed standard for heat illness and injury prevention for indoor and outdoor settings. The full unofficial text is included in the DOL press release (see all parts of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking under the “About the Proposed Rule” section). The official text is expected to be published in the Federal Register during the next two weeks.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also included a two-page fact sheet summarizing the main elements of the proposal.

Highlights of the summary of the proposed rule include:

  • OSHA would adopt two heat index thresholds—an initial heat trigger of 80-degree heat index and a high heat trigger of 90-degree heat index—that would apply nationally and would factor in humidity and temperature with control measures to be implemented for each heat trigger level. More protections would take effect at 90 F, including monitoring for signs of heat illness and mandatory 15-minute rest breaks every two hours.
  • Employers would be required to develop and implement a worksite heat injury and illness prevention plan to evaluate and control heat hazards in the workplace.
  • Employers would need to have a plan for new and returning workers to gradually increase their workload so their bodies adjust to the heat.
  • Employers would be required to provide initial and annual refresher training for supervisors and employees.
  • Employers would be required to check on people working alone every few hours and issue a hazard alert to remind their workers about the importance of staying hydrated.
  • “Sedentary” employees, those in indoor job sites kept below 80 F, emergency response workers and remote employees are exempt from the protections.

OSHA is giving the public 120 days to comment after publication in the Federal Register. NRCA currently is reviewing the proposed regulatory text and will continue to remain closely engaged in this rulemaking and provide updates to members as additional information becomes available.

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