Heat illness affects thousands of indoor and outdoor workers each year and can lead to death. To combat the hazard, OSHA has launched a national emphasis program (NEP) focused on conducting heat-related workplace inspections and protecting workers and communities from extreme heat and rising temperatures resulting from climate change.
“Tragically, the three-year average of workplace deaths caused by heat has doubled since the early 1990s," says Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, adding that the cases are not limited to outdoor occupations, the seasons or geography.
Under the NEP, OSHA will initiate inspections in more than 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. When the heat index is 80 F or higher, OSHA inspectors and compliance assistance specialists will provide 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," the agency says.
As part of OSHA’s efforts to reduce workplace heat illnesses and fatalities, the agency will hold a public stakeholder meeting on May 3 to discuss the hazards, compliance assistance activities and enforcement efforts. You can register for the event here
Read OSHA's fact sheet