Last week, on April 12, 2022, OSHA announced that it has launched an enforcement National Emphasis Program (“NEP”) for Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards. The Heat Illness NEP applies to both indoor and outdoor workplaces, including general industry, construction, maritime, and agriculture. The NEP is already in effect – as of April 8th – even before OSHA made its April 12th announcement, and will remain in effect for three years unless canceled or extended by a superseding directive.
Secretary of Labor Walsh, joined by Vice President Harris, announced this new enforcement program at a speech at the Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 Training Center in Philadelphia with these remarks:
“Tragically, the three-year average of workplace deaths caused by heat has doubled since the early 1990s. These extreme heat hazards aren’t limited to outdoor occupations, the seasons or geography. From farm workers in California to construction workers in Texas and warehouse workers in Pennsylvania, heat illness – exacerbated by our climate’s rising temperatures – presents a growing hazard for millions of workers…. This enforcement program is another step towards our goal of a federal heat standard. Through this work, we’re also empowering workers with knowledge of their rights, especially the right to speak up about their safety without fear of retaliation.”
Below is an analysis of the mechanics of OSHA’s Heat Illness NEP: Continue reading