DOL to hold public meeting to provide overview of OSHA initiatives to protect workers from heat hazards

First published by OSHA

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will hold a stakeholder meeting May 3, 2022, to provide an overview of and seek comments on the agency’s ongoing efforts to protect workers from heat-related hazards. The meeting will be held online from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. EDT.

As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to workplace safety, OSHA is working to address the threat of heat, the leading cause of death among all weather-related workplace hazards.

OSHA’s efforts to address heat-related hazards include the agency’s Heat Illness Prevention Campaign, compliance assistance and enforcement activities. During the meeting, the process of federal rulemaking and ways for the public to participate in the process will be discussed.

Participants must register online to attend the meeting. Individuals unable to attend and those who prefer to submit written comments must do so by Aug. 1, 2022, at www.regulations.gov, and cite Docket No. OSHA-2022-0006. Visit the Heat Forum Public Stakeholder page for more details.

Workers in outdoor and indoor work settings without adequate climate-controlled environments risk hazardous heat exposure. Statistics show workers of color are exposed disproportionately to hazardous levels of heat in essential jobs in these work settings.

OSHA recently launched a National Emphasis Program to protect millions of workers from heat illness and injuries. Through the program, OSHA will conduct heat-related workplace inspections before workers suffer completely preventable injuries, illnesses or, even worse, fatalities.

Watch a video featuring Jim Barber, who shares his story on the loss of his son from heat illness on a New York job site.

Learn more about working in outdoor and indoor heat environments.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Secretary Walsh joins Vice President Kamala Harris to announce first ever national emphasis program to protect workers from indoor and outdoor heat hazards

First published by OSHA

WASHINGTON – For the first time, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a National Emphasis Program to protect millions of workers from heat illness and injuries. Through the program, OSHA will conduct heat-related workplace inspections before workers suffer completely preventable injuries, illnesses or, even worse, fatalities.

Secretary Marty Walsh today joined Vice President Kamala Harris at the Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 Training Center in Philadelphia to announce the new enforcement program.

Heat illness affects thousands of indoor and outdoor workers each year and can tragically lead to death. Reducing workplace heat-related illnesses and injuries is a top priority for the Department of Labor, and this National Emphasis Program is a way to immediately improve enforcement and compliance efforts, while continuing long-term work to establish a heat illness prevention rule. These efforts are part of a larger, interagency Biden-Harris administration effort to protect workers and communities from extreme heat and rising temperatures resulting from climate change.

“Tragically, the three-year average of workplace deaths caused by heat has doubled since the early 1990s. These extreme heat hazards aren’t limited to outdoor occupations, the seasons or geography. From farm workers in California to construction workers in Texas and warehouse workers in Pennsylvania, heat illness – exacerbated by our climate’s rising temperatures – presents a growing hazard for millions of workers,” said Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “This enforcement program is another step towards our goal of a federal heat standard. Through this work, we’re also empowering workers with knowledge of their rights, especially the right to speak up about their safety without fear of retaliation. I’m grateful for the Vice President’s leadership on this issue, and for her demonstrated commitment to keeping workers safe on the job.”

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.

“Our goal is to make it safe for workers in hot indoor and outdoor environments, so that they can return home safe and healthy at the end of each day,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “Working together, we can ensure workers know their rights and employers meet their obligations in order to protect workers from the growing dangers of extreme heat.”

OSHA’s area offices will engage in outreach to unions, employers in target industries and other organizations committed to advancing protections for underserved workers. The agency’s On-Site Consultation Program, a free and confidential health and safety consulting program for small- and medium-sized businesses, will assist employers in developing strategic approaches for addressing heat-related illnesses and injuries in workplaces.

Last fall, in the Biden-Harris administration’s first year in office, OSHA published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to initiate the rulemaking process towards a federal heat standard and is committed to using all tools at its disposal to reduce heat hazards through a combination of enforcement, outreach and compliance assistance.

As part of OSHA’s continued work to reduce workplace heat illnesses and fatalities, the agency will hold a public stakeholder meeting on May 3, 2022, to discuss OSHA’s ongoing activities to protect workers from heat-related hazards, including the Heat Illness Prevention Campaign, compliance assistance activities and enforcement efforts. You can register for the event here.

Read a fact sheet on OSHA’s National Emphasis Program to protect workers across the nation from the increasing threat of heat related illness.

Learn more about working in outdoor and indoor heat environments.

Lea en Español.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

US Department of Labor initiates rulemaking to protect workers, outdoors and indoors, from heat hazards amid rising temperatures

First published by OSHA

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Photo: OSHA

Coincides with Biden-Harris administration interagency effort to protect workers, communities

Record-breaking heat in the U.S. in 2021 endangered millions of workers exposed to heat illness and injury in both indoor and outdoor work environments. Workers in outdoor and indoor work settings without adequate climate-controlled environments are at risk of hazardous heat exposure, and workers of color are exposed disproportionately to hazardous levels of heat in essential jobs across these work settings.

In concert with a Biden-Harris administration interagency effort and its commitment to workplace safety, climate resilience and environmental justice, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is publishing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings on Oct. 27, 2021. Currently, OSHA does not have a specific standard for hazardous heat conditions and this action begins the process to consider a heat-specific workplace rule.

“As we continue to see temperatures rise and records broken, our changing climate affects millions of America’s workers who are exposed to tough and potentially dangerous heat,” said U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. “We know a disproportionate number of people of color perform this critical work and they, like all workers, deserve protections. We must act now to address the impacts of extreme heat and to prevent workers from suffering the agony of heat illness or death.”

The Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will initiate a comment period to gather diverse perspectives and expertise on topics, such as heat-stress thresholds, heat-acclimatization planning and exposure monitoring.

“While heat illness is largely preventable and commonly underreported, thousands of workers are sickened each year by workplace heat exposure, and in some cases, heat exposure can be fatal,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Jim Frederick. “The Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings is an important part of our multi-pronged initiative to protect indoor and outdoor workers from hazardous heat.”

Heat is the leading cause of death among all weather-related workplace hazards. To help address this threat, OSHA implemented a nationwide enforcement initiative on heat-related hazards, is developing a National Emphasis Program on heat inspections and forming a National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Work Group to provide a better understanding of challenges and identify, and share best practices to protect workers.

Read the Federal Register notice for submission instructions. Beginning Oct. 27, submit comments at www.regulations.gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal and refer to Docket No. OSHA-2021-0009. All comments must be submitted by Dec. 27, 2021.

Read the President Biden’s statement on Mobilizing the Administration to Address Extreme Heat.


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.