The Dotted Line: How contracts can protect workers from heat, smoke
Construction sites across the US are facing increased hazards due to extreme heat and wildfire smoke this summer. OSHA has issued briefs on protecting workers from these conditions, but specific standards mandating employer compliance are pending. Contractors have expressed concerns about the lack of regulations, as it puts them in a difficult position with project schedules and worker safety. OSHA’s General Duty Clause requires employers to provide a safe work environment and can be used in the absence of specific standards. Contractors may face fines if inspectors find a disregard for worker protection. To mitigate risks, contractors can include safety provisions in contracts and use force majeure clauses to address extreme conditions.