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Volume XII, Number 148

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Federal OSHA Emphasizes Heat-Related Illnesses and Injuries in the Workplace

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on April 12, 2022, that it is launching a national emphasis program (the Program) focused on heat-related illnesses and injuries. Although OSHA currently enforces heat-hazard violations with the General Duty Clause, it intends to roll out a permanent standard that will apply to indoor and outdoor workplaces in the general industry and construction fields. In the interim, however, OSHA will focus on heat hazards through the Program, which provides policies and procedures for OSHA’s targeted enforcement efforts to protect employees.

The Program is directed toward employers in 70 high-risk industries. OSHA’s Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHO) will inspect indoor and outdoor work sites proactively, without receiving an injury report, complaint, or referral. Inspections will occur when the National Weather Service issues a heat advisory or warning for the local area. On days when the heat index is 80°F or higher, OSHA’s personnel will conduct direct outreach to stakeholders such as unions and safety organizations, to ensure workers remain safe on the job. The Program also directs CSHOs to conduct inspections of outdoor work areas in plain view on especially warm days.

OSHA’s enforcement guidance requires CSHOs to include in their inspections a review of OSHA 300 Logs and 301 Incident Reports and interviews with workers to spot the symptoms of heat illness, such as headache, dizziness, fainting, and dehydration. CSHOs also are to determine if an employer has a heat illness and injury prevention program and evaluate the same.

Employers may wish to timely review the Program to understand what OSHA intends to focus on during a heat-related inspection. Employers in the 70 high-risk industries also may consider developing a heat illness and injury prevention program and, to that end, the Program contains detailed guidance on what such a program should include.

©2022 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 105
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About this Author

Adam Roseman, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Philadelphia, Labor and Employment Attorney
Associate

Adam Roseman focuses his practice on federal and state labor and employment counseling and litigation arising under Title VII, the Fair Labor Standards Act, whistleblower retaliation under Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and restrictive covenants.

Concentrations

  • FLSA

  • Title VII

  • Occupational Safety and Health Act

  • Whistleblower retaliation under Sarbanes-Oxley and...

215-988-7826
Michael Taylor, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Northern Virginia, Labor and Employment, Energy Law Attorney
Shareholder

Michael T. Taylor is Chair of the firm's Labor & Employment Practice's OSHA group. He focuses his practice on the representation of employers in a variety of industries regarding Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) matters across the country. Over the last fourteen years, Michael has defended scores of employers during enforcement litigation, many of which have involved a significant injury, fatality, or catastrophic event in the workplace. Michael also provides OSHA compliance counseling, OSHA inspection counseling, OSHA whistleblower representation, and OSHA due...

703-749-1387
Associate

Amelia A. Esber represents clients in jury trials, arbitrations, mediations, and other aspects of the dispute resolution process with a focus on labor and employment law and commercial litigation. Her employment law practice includes matters arising from claims of discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, restrictive covenants, wage and hour disputes, and other personnel-related issues.

Amelia’s practice extends to occupational safety and health defense, including the representation of clients in federal Occupational Safety and Health...

602-445-8408
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