On April 12, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announcedNational Emphasis Program—Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards, which expands on the agency’s ongoing heat-related illness prevention initiative and campaign by setting forth a targeted enforcement component and reiterating its compliance assistance and outreach efforts.

The purpose of the NEP is to identify and eliminate or reduce worker exposures to occupational heat-related illnesses and injuries in general industry, construction, maritime and agriculture. It targets more than 70 specific industries (refer to Appendix A) expected to have the highest exposures to heat-related hazards and resulting illnesses and deaths. Effective April 8, the NEP will remain in effect for three years unless canceled or extended by a superseding directive.

According to the press release, “As part of the program, OSHA will proactively initiate inspections in over 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. On days when the heat index is 80 F or higher, OSHA inspectors and compliance assistance specialists will engage in proactive outreach and 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.” Read the NEP fact sheet for more information.

On Jan. 26, ABC, as a steering committee member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, submitted comments on OSHA’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings. CISC members feel strongly that a regulatory approach—if adopted—must be simple and should integrate the key concepts of “Water, Rest, Shade.”

Learn more about OSHA’s May 3 stakeholder meeting on heat-related hazards.

Continue to read Newsline for further updates.