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OSHA launches heat stress enforcement program

April 18, 2022
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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched an indoor and outdoor heat-related hazards National Emphasis Program (NEP). Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh unveiled the NEP on April 13 with Vice President Kamala Harris at a public event at the Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 Training Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

OSHA plans to initiate inspections in over 70 high-risk industries in indoor and outdoor work settings when the National Weather Service has issued a heat warning or an advisory for a local area. Industries targeted by the NEP include those in the agricultural, construction, and manufacturing sectors, as well as automobile dealerships, postal service, and freight and rail transportation.

The NEP exempts farming operations with 10 or fewer employees—excluding farm employers’ family members—during the previous 12 months and no active temporary labor camp during the preceding 12 months.

Agency inspectors will look for and address heat hazards during inspections beyond the industries targeted in the NEP.

“This enforcement program is another step towards our goal of a federal heat standard,” Walsh said in an agency statement.

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