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OSHA Announces New Heat Illness Prevention Enforcement

September 23, 2021

Plans to Issue New Heat Standard

On September 20, OSHA announced that it is implementing an enforcement initiative on heat-related hazards, developing a National Emphasis Program on heat inspections, and launching a rulemaking process to develop a workplace heat standard. The newly established enforcement initiative prioritizes heat-related interventions and inspections of work activities on days when the heat index exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit. OSHA plans to issue—and AGC will respond to—a proposal for a federal heat standard to ensure heat injury and illness prevention in outdoor and indoor work settings. AGC previously testified against legislation requiring such a standard, citing the industry’s thorough, proactive work in this area and informed lawmakers quickly establishing a one-size-fits-all national standard to address workplace heat exposure is unwarranted. In addition, AGC has pointed out how the Obama administration’s OSHA previously decided against issuing such a standard given existing agency authorities to take enforcement action when heat hazards exist on the jobsite.

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