Outdoor & Indoor Heat-Related Hazards
OSHA’s “Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards” aims to protect workers from the dangers of heat illness. With rising temperatures posing significant risks, this program focuses on promoting safe working conditions. By addressing both outdoor and indoor heat-related hazards, OSHA aims to prevent heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and other heat-related illnesses. The NEP emphasizes the need for implementation of effective heat illness prevention programs. In addition these programs provide training to workers, and establish protocols for responding to heat-related emergencies. By following OSHA guidelines, employers can ensure the well-being and safety of their employees in environments affected by outdoor and indoor heat-related hazards.
Details of the National Emphasis Program
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a National Emphasis Program to protect millions of workers from heat illness and injuries. As part of the program, OSHA will proactively initiate inspections in over 70 high-risk industries in indoor and outdoor work settings when the National Weather Service has issued a heat warning or advisory for a local area. On days when the heat index is 80oF or higher, OSHA inspectors and compliance assistance specialists will engage in proactive outreach and technical assistance to help stakeholders keep workers safe on the job. Inspectors will look for and address heat hazards during inspections, regardless of whether the industry is targeted in the NEP.
Outreach to Unions & Employers
OSHA’s area offices will engage in outreach to unions, employers in target industries and other organizations committed to advancing protections for underserved workers. The agency’s On-Site Consultation Program, a free and confidential health and safety consulting program for small- and medium-sized businesses, will assist employers in developing strategic approaches for addressing heat-related illnesses and injuries in workplaces.
In addition, the agency will hold a public stakeholder meeting on May 3, 2022, to discuss OSHA’s ongoing activities to protect workers from heat-related hazards, including the Heat Illness Prevention Campaign, compliance assistance activities and enforcement efforts. You can register for the event here.