OSHA Proposes Heat Guidelines



OSHA is PROPOSING guidelines to protect workers from heat related illness. Under the proposed rule, OSHA would adopt two heat index thresholds that would apply nationally and take into account humidity as well as the temperature.  

  • At 80 degrees Fahrenheit, the requirement would be for employers to provide drinking water and break areas that workers can use as needed.  Employers would need to have a plan for new and employees retuning to duty to gradually increase workload to allow for their bodies to acclimate to the heat.
  • At 90 degrees, requirements would include monitoring for signs of heat related illness and mandatory 15-minute water breaks every two hours. In addition, employers would be required to monitor employees working along and to issue a hazard alert reminding workers to stay hydrated.

In many parts of the United States Heat Advisories are becoming a more regular occurrence. Stay tuned as to whether this proposed rule is approved and becomes an official regulation.  

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