The ͵¶/Service Group works to protect our people from heat illnesses and injuries. Our “Working. Safe.” program includes providing sufficient water, rest, and shade; training to recognize signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses; first aid and an emergency plan. On-site leadership and “buddy system” contribute to worker safety.

OSHA began developing a new rule on employee exposures to heat-related injuries and illnesses in 2021. Earlier this month, the agency published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the subject which outlines a number of steps employers will be required to take if and when the rule becomes final. Those steps include:

 Monitoring temperatures
 Identifying a person to be a Heat Safety Coordinator
 Conducting regular training
 Allowing for rest breaks, providing shade and having water available at all times
 Developing an acclimatization program for new and returning workers
 Having a heat prevention plan and an incident reporting process

Under rulemaking procedures, this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be published in the Federal Register. The public will then be given 120 days to file comments, which OSHA must take into consideration before publishing its final rule. It will take several months for all of that to happen. In the meantime, OSHA has made heat stress prevention a National Emphasis Program through April of next year.

The ͵¶/Service Group works to prevent heat illnesses, assessing conditions and workload each day. Heat safety and illness recognition and prevention is a core topic in training and safety meetings as a part of our “Working. Safe.” program.

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