New Rule Aims to Protect Workers From Extreme Heat

drinking water in heat

On July 2, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a new worker heat-protection rule. The proposed rule aims to protect approximately 36 million workers in indoor and outdoor work settings by substantially reducing heat injuries, illnesses, and deaths in the workplace.

The proposed rule would require employers to develop an injury and illness prevention plan to control heat hazards in workplaces affected by excessive heat. Among other things, the plan would require employers to evaluate heat risks and—when heat increases risks to workers—implement requirements for drinking water, rest breaks, and control of indoor heat. It would also require a plan to protect new or returning workers unaccustomed to working in high heat conditions.

Further, employers would be required to provide training, have procedures to respond if a worker is experiencing signs and symptoms of a heat-related illness, and take immediate action to help a worker experiencing signs and symptoms of a heat emergency.

“Every worker should come home safe and healthy at the end of the day, which is why the Biden-Harris administration is taking this significant step to protect workers from the dangers posed by extreme heat,” said Julie Su, acting secretary of labor. “As the most pro-worker administration in history, we are committed to ensuring that those doing difficult work in some of our economy’s most critical sectors are valued and kept safe in the workplace.”

Heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S. Excessive workplace heat can lead to heat stroke and even death. While heat hazards impact workers in many industries, workers of color have a higher likelihood of working in jobs with hazardous heat exposure, the DOL said. CMM also recently reported many states have already seen heat-related emergencies increasing.

“Workers all over the country are passing out, suffering heat stroke, and dying from heat exposure from just doing their jobs, and something must be done to protect them,” said Doug Parker, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) assistant secretary. “Today’s proposal is an important next step in the process to receive public input to craft a ‘win-win’ final rule that protects workers while being practical and workable for employers.”

The public is encouraged to submit written comments on the rule once it is published in the Federal Register. The agency also anticipates a public hearing after the close of the written comment period. More information will be available on submitting comments when the rule is published.

In the interim, OSHA continues to direct significant existing outreach and enforcement resources to educate employers and workers and hold businesses accountable for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health. Additionally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collaborated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) to release a new Heat and Health Initiative to protect Americans from heat exposure, particularly during heat events.

OSHA also continues to conduct heat-related inspections under its National Emphasis Program – Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards, launched in 2022. The program inspects workplaces with the highest exposures to heat-related hazards proactively to prevent workers from suffering injury, illness, and death needlessly. Since the launch, OSHA has conducted more than 5,000 federal heat-related inspections.

Cleanfax Staff

Cleanfax provides cleaning and restoration professionals with information designed to help them manage and grow their businesses.

Follow Cleanfax Staff

Related Posts

Share This Article

Join Our Newsletter

Expert Videos

Popular Content

Screenshot

Concrete Wars: Go to Battle With Ameripolish on Your Side

CoreLogic Straighttalk 800

Efficiency Meets Innovation: CoreLogic Revolutionizes Water Damage Restoration With Mitigate

ServiceMonster

ServiceMonster: All-in-One Client and Job Management Platform Built for Carpet and Floor Cleaners

Masters in Restoration Pricing & Documentation

Masters in Restoration Pricing & Documentation: How to Turbocharge Your Restoration Project Strategies

Erin Hynum

Revolutionizing Restoration: Introducing the DryMAX XL Pro Dehumidifier

Polls

Has the increase in remote work made booking residential cleaning appointments easier than before the COVID-19 pandemic?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...