OSHA Is Soliciting Public Comments for a Proposed Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Standard


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings. In its notice, OSHA poses over 100 questions to obtain “additional information about the extent and nature of hazardous heat in the workplace and the nature and effectiveness of interventions and controls used to prevent heat-related injury and illness.”  This information will be used in developing a proposed standard, including with regard to the scope and types of controls.

The topics for the questions include the following:

  • The nature and magnitude of heat-related occupational illness, injuries, and fatalities
  • The underreporting of heat-related occupational illness, injury and fatalities
  • The variance of heat exposure and risk across industries, occupations and job tasks
  • How unique and non-traditional work arrangements contribute to heat-related risk
  • How business size impacts prevention practices and interventions
  • Occupational heat exposure and outcomes based on geographic region
  • Inequalities in exposure and disproportionate outcomes experienced by vulnerable occupational populations
  • The impact of climate change
  • Existing prevention efforts by OSHA, States, and other entities
  • Heat metrics
  • Contributions to heat stress in indoor/outdoor work settings and individual risk factors
  • The need for and elements of a heat injury and illness prevention program
  • Engineering and administrative controls, as well as personal protective equipment
  • Design and implementation of acclimatization plans for workers
  • Heat monitoring activities and programs
  • Heat-illness emergency planning and response
  • Existing worker training and engagement programs and their effectiveness

Members of the public may submit responses to any of the questions and other comments through December 27, 2021 through the Federal Register website. OSHA will then consider the responses before issuing an actual proposed standard that would be subject to another comment process.