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July 10, 2024 • News

USDOL Proposes Federal Safety Standard for Excessive Workplace Heat

The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) has proposed a federal safety standard for excessive workplace heat. The proposed rule would require employers to develop an injury and illness prevention plan to control heat hazards in workplaces affected by excessive heat. This includes training the workforce to identify signs and symptoms of heat-related illness. The rule uses a high heat trigger of 90 degrees Fahrenheit as measured by a heat index which combines ambient temperature and humidity, or a heat metric that also takes into account radiant heat from sunlight or artificial heat sources, and air movement. 

Ordinarily, once a rule is published in the Federal Register, it is open for public comments during the written comment period, and prior to final rule development. But given the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Chevron deference, it is not clear whether the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will press forward with the proposed rule, or if litigation will force the agency to reconsider the rule.

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