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ASA Requests Delay of OSHA’s Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Proposed Rule

Last week, OSHA published the Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM).  OSHA is initiating rulemaking to protect indoor and outdoor workers from hazardous heat and is interested in obtaining 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 ANPRM provides an overview of the problem of heat stress in the workplace and of measures that have been taken to prevent it. This ANPRM also seeks information on issues that OSHA can consider in developing the standard, including the scope of the standard and the types of controls that might be required.  OSHA is providing 60 days to comment, which are due December 27, 2021.

However, ASA, along with the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC), are requesting an additional 60 day extension, which would provide ASA and the CISC more time to properly respond to the ANPRM.   Per the letter:

“The ANPRM has one-hundred fourteen (114) questions that are intended to solicit information on the topics related to assessing the nature and magnitude of occupational illness, injuries, and fatalities occurring due to hazardous heat; how hazardous heat exposure and risk varies across industries, occupations, and job tasks; how business size may influence the practices and interventions implemented to prevent heat-related injuries and illnesses and the challenges experienced by businesses of varying sizes, including small businesses, when implementing these prevention strategies; and existing efforts at the state level to prevent occupational heat-related illness, injuries, and fatalities. The CISC intends to review the questions, collect as much information as possible, along with other information from contractors in the field regarding their existing heat injury and illness prevention efforts and submit it for the Agency’s consideration. Given the volume and wide range of data and information OSHA is looking for, providing only 60 days to submit this critical information to the Agency is insufficient.”