OSHA to Develop Heat Standards for Workers
OSHA NEWS – January 8, 2024 – OSHA is developing recommendations for regulatory standards for the prevention of heat-related illnesses of outdoor workers. This task could prove challenging because some people respond to heat differently. It's important to understand the potential risk factors that contribute to a person's sensitivity to heat, such as medications, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, level of hydration, alcohol intake, or the use of illegal substances. Several states already have heat standards in place for indoor and outdoor workers.
UNTIL new standards are developed, OSHA points to NIOSH's Heat Standard Recommendations as a basic guide to prevent heat-related illnesses. The following is paraphrased from NIOSH's standards:
- Work shorter hours until your body gets used to the environment.
- Drink water often – not just when you feel thirsty.
- Watch for the signs of heat-related illness.
- Take time to rest and cool down.
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