Employers Must Address Risks of Extreme Heat per OSHA
Extreme heat poses significant risks to workers, with hundreds of deaths and thousands of heat-related illnesses reported in the US since 2011. While OSHA does not have a specific standard for heat hazards, it requires employers to provide a safe workplace under the General Duty Clause. To address this issue, OSHA initiated a National Emphasis Program targeting high-risk industries like construction and agriculture. President Biden also urged the DOL to increase inspections and released the first-ever Hazard Alert for Heat. OSHA advises employers to provide cool water, rest breaks, shade, and heat illness prevention training to workers. Employers are encouraged to develop a comprehensive Heat Illness Prevention Plan to protect employees and avoid potential citations.