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In December 2023, ABC submitted comments as a steering committee member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition and the Coalition for Workplace Safety in response to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s potential standard for Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings following its review of the Small Business Advocacy Review Panel materials and the SBAR Panel’s final report. In September, the SBAR Panel hosted six video conferences to gather input from small entity representatives. An ABC member participated as a SER during one of the video conferences. The panel’s final report was issued on Nov. 3.

CISC’s comments state, “The construction environment is inherently fluid and CISC has significant concerns with any regulatory approach that imposes prescriptive, complicated requirements on construction industry employers.

“The CISC urges OSHA to focus their regulatory approach on the key concepts of ‘Water, Rest, and Shade’ and provide construction employers the necessary flexibility to make such a standard effective. For the same reasons, the CISC reiterates their invitation for OSHA to consider a separate regulatory approach for the construction industry, as OSHA has done in other rulemakings.” 

CWS’ comments state, “The CWS supports recommendations expressed in the Panel Report, and in other comments submitted to the agency, recognizing that flexibility, versus a ‘one-size-fits-all’ standard, is necessary for employers to prevent or mitigate heat-related injuries and illnesses in their workplaces the most effectively.” Read CWS’ press release.

In January 2022, ABC, as a steering committee member of the CISC, also submitted comments in response to the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings.

Additional OSHA Actions:

On April 12, 2022, OSHA announced a National Emphasis Program on Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards, which sets out a targeted enforcement effort and reiterates OSHA’s compliance assistance and outreach efforts.

On July 27, 2023, OSHA issued a heat hazard alert to remind employers of their obligation to protect workers against heat illness or injury in outdoor and indoor workplaces. The agency also announced that OSHA will intensify its enforcement where workers are exposed to heat hazards, with increased inspections in high-risk industries like construction and agriculture. These actions will fully implement OSHA’s National Emphasis Program on heat, announced in April 2022, to focus enforcement efforts in geographic areas and industries with the most vulnerable workers.

On Sept. 29, OSHA issued new resources to protect workers from the effects of heat.

ABC strongly supports worker safety and protection from heat injury and illness, while maintaining flexibility for the fluid nature of the construction environment. Employers play a key role in providing training and awareness regarding heat protection, and ABC will continue to support members in ensuring preparedness for heat-related issues through a wide range of resources.

Learn more about OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention Campaign