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Congress Issues Bill to Mandate Federal Heat Standard

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On July 10, Congress introduced a bill that requires OSHA to propose a federal heat stress standard within 2 years and a final regulation within 42 months.

“According to a 2015 study by OSHA, exposure to heat led to 37 work-related deaths and 2,830 nonfatal occupation injuries and illnesses. And it’s only expected to get worse. A new report released last week found that rising temperatures from global warming could cost the global economy as much as $69 trillion by 2100, thanks in part to the impact on workers’ health,” Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) said in a statement.

The bill would require OSHA to establish a heat exposure standard that would:

  • Be at least as effective as the most stringent state standard;
  • Consider recommendations for a standard published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in 2016; and
  • Include requirements that employers protect employees from heat-related illness by providing hydration, scheduled and paid rest breaks in shaded or climate-controlled environments, an acclimatization plan, training, monitoring, surveillance, and recordkeeping, as well as emergency response in cases of heat illnesses.

To read more about the bill, click here.