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On Tuesday morning, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced its new proposed rule on “Heat Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings.” In the proposed rule, OSHA outlines two heat index thresholds that factor in humidity at which extra precautions would become necessary. The first is 80 degrees Fahrenheit which would require employers provide drinking water and break areas and the second is 90 degrees Fahrenheit which implements more steps like heat illness monitoring and mandatory 15-minute breaks.

 

Adjustment procedures for new hires and returning workers after vacations or long breaks would also become necessary under the proposed rule. Workers who are only briefly exposed to high temperatures or emergency responders are some of those who would fall under the category of exempt for the rule. Full text of the proposed rule is available online.

 

MHI will continue its review of the proposed rule and its impacts on the industry and will offer comments if needed. Comments are due 120 days after the proposed rule is officially posted to the Federal Register which is expected to occur in the upcoming days.

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