NOVEMBER 8, 2021
This entry is an update to the October blog of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announcement that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was implementing a heat related hazards enforcement initiative – the full blog can be read below.
Recently, the Department of Labor (DOL) has just announced that OSHA has published an “Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Settings.” The ANPRM went out on October 27, 2021 and comments must be submitted by December 27, 2021. If you are an organization that has employees working either outdoors or indoors in an area subject to heat, you may want to review the Advance Notice and comment.
In summary, the ANPRM signifies that while OSHA “has relied on the General Duty Clause to cite employers for heat-related hazards, that this “does not specifically prescribe hazardous heat exposure thresholds or provide specifics on how employers are to eliminate or reduce their employees’ exposure to hazardous heat” and that it does not allow OSHA to currently “require abatement before proving in an enforcement proceeding that specific workplace conditions are hazardous.” The ANPRM requests comments to a variety of questions imbedded throughout the ANPRM prior to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) being released
The ANPRM can be read on the following site:
Comments may be submitted online at:
OCTOBER 1, 2021
The EEOC just released an announcement that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is implementing an enforcement initiative in relation to heat-related hazards and developing a program on heat inspections. Additionally, they will develop a workplace heat standard by issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in October 2021. They will also be prioritizing inspections of heat-related complaints, referrals, and reported illnesses by employers.
In cases where other workplace investigations are being conducted, these may be expanded to include the review of heat-related hazards when worksite conditions or other evidence indicates such hazards may exist. The program in 2022 will build upon the existing Regional Emphasis Program in Region VI, which includes New Mexico. We recommend employers review the guidance released on September 1, 2021, which can be found on the OSHA site under https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/standardinterpretations/2021-09-01.
The site has helpful guidance and information, including a listing of industries with a history of heat-related cases. We will be keeping an eye out for the proposed regulation and letting you know when more information is available. If you need guidance and clarification about these or any new regulations give us a call!
Summarized by | Magdalena Vigil-Tullar
HR Consultant | MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CLRP