- On June 10, 2022
By: Darcy Cook, CHSO, SHS, PTA
OSHA’s goal is to increase the number of inspections, by over 100%, for heat relatedinjuries and illnesses. OSHA will include heat-related hazards in ongoing inspections. When the temperature is above 80 degrees and when the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a heat warning, OSHA expects employers to implement a safety plan that protects and address heat as a hazard in the workplace.
OSHA’s NEW National Emphasis Program for heat related illness and injuries is for both outdoor and indoor work.
You should be developing a prevention plan that address heat hazards in the workplace. How can you help to prevent these heat-related injuries? Some recommendations include; access to water, requiring rest breaks with shade or air conditioning areas, providing training on the signs of symptoms of heat illness, and starting your shifts earlier or later to avoid the hottest parts of the day.
California already has a standard for heat related illnesses. In the future, OSHA is likely to adopt some of these practices into a formal OSHA standard.
In your new hire process, you may need to consider an acclimatization period for exposure to excessive heat in the workplace. Put a program together that slowly increases the duration and exertion of the new hire. Make sure you incorporate heat awareness training to include controls in place from your heat related illness prevention plan.
If you would like more information, education, and resources, visit OSHA’s website and designated heat illness prevention page.