OSHA’s New Guidelines

February 14, 2024
OSHA’s New Guidelines

OSHA’s New Guidelines That Aim to Save Lives and Reduce Heat Stress

From landscapers to baggage claim personnel, construction workers to chefs, many industries and employees are subjected to heat stress during their day-to-day jobs. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have recognised this and are amidst drafting guidelines that will aim to protect workers, both indoor and outdoor, from the dangers of occupational heat stress.

OSHA and their Current Working in Heat Guidelines

OSHA’s current guidelines offer some knowledge and advice on occupational heat stress for workers and employers, however the information provided is somewhat limited and are only recommended standards, not enforceable by federal law. A small handful of states in the USA, such as California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, have implemented standards for work being conducted in extreme heat to protect these workers from experiencing any unwanted heat stress symptoms. But other much hotter states, such as Texas, Florida, and Georgia, do not have any standards surrounding extreme heat and expose workers in these states to unwanted risk, both for worker and employer.

The Drafting Process and Timeline of OSHA’s Heat Stress Standards

After being pushed by President Joe Biden, OSHA is now currently drafting guidelines for indoor and outdoor work in heat, that will be federally enforceable and will allow government to fine employers that violate these standards. These enforceable guidelines are expected to be largely based on OSHA’s current recommended guidelines and will include standards surrounding acclimatisation, hydration, and rest. Though the drafting process has already begun, OSHA is required to go through a plethora of rule-making processes and steps that may take many months to complete. To date, OSHA officials have already consulted with small businesses expected to be affected by the changes and are continuing to work through the key rule-making steps in order to get these standards over the line.

To protect those in your workplace from heat stress, ensure adequate hydration using the MX3 System!

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