Over the next week, it’s going to be a hot town summer in the city. Across the southwestern U.S., it will be seven straight days of 100-plus degree weather.
With the mercury on the rise, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) distributed a reminder to employers about heat illness prevention rules that were originally effective in 2022. Simply put, when these brutal outdoor temperatures take place, the new rules kick in.
Here’s a summary of OSHA’s heat illness prevention requirements:
1. For outside workers, employers must provide “immediate” and “available” access to shaded areas to accommodate resting employees.
2. Cold drinking water should be available at all times and at no cost. The supply should provide 32 ounces of water per employee per hour.
3. If the heat index rises to 90 degrees – as it will in the coming days – employers must implement these practices:
- Communicate procedures to all employees;
- Ensure employees suffering a heat-related illness can be immediately identified;
- Have one or more employees authorized to call for emergency service;
- When working in a building without ventilation, ensure there is a way to measure the temperature and heat index;
- Have a plan for the implementation of a rest schedule to include an extra 10-minute break every two hours.
4. Employers must include in their Emergency Plan the proper actions to take when an employee is exposed to excessive heat.
5. Employers must create a written “acclimatization plan” so employees have time for their bodies to gradually adapt to working in hot conditions through increased daily exposure.
6. Employers must create a written heat illness prevention plan available to both employees and OSHA upon request. The plan should discuss how employees will be trained.
7. Supervisors and employees should receive heat illness prevention training and maintain records, including the name and date of each employee trained, and the name of the person who conducted the training.
Should you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact OSHA.
As always, stay safe out there!
The information and opinions expressed are for educational purposes only and are based on current practice, industry-related knowledge and business expertise. The information provided shall not be construed as legal advice, express or implied.