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OSHA Issues Hazard Alert for Heat

Jul 27, 2023

The Biden Administration is initiating new actions that aim to protect workers and communities from extreme heat.

As part of that effort, OSHA has issued a hazard alert for heat and plans to ramp up its enforcement efforts to protect workers from extreme heat. Since 2011, more than 400 workers have died due to environmental heat exposure. Farmworkers, farmers, firefighters and construction workers are particularly at risk.

The hazard alert affirms that workers have heat-related protections under federal law. It provides information on what employers can and should be doing to protect their workers; helps ensure employees are aware of their rights, including protections against retaliation; and highlights current enforcement and outreach activities.

OSHA also will increase enforcement of heat-safety violations. This will include increasing inspections in high-risk industries like construction and agriculture. The agency will also continue its work to develop a federal standard for workplace heat-safety rules.

On April 8, 2022, OSHA launched a national emphasis program (NEP) addressing heat exposure and the agency offers a set of resources for employees and employers. In June 2022, ASSP hosted an expert panel discussion on the NEP and other proactive measures to prevent workplace exposure to heat stress. It is available to watch on demand. The Society also has a position statement on heat stress

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