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OSHA Extends Comment Period on Rulemaking Regarding Heat Hazards

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration extends comment period on proposal to address extreme heat hazards
  • Comments will be accepted through Jan. 26
  • OSHA is stepping up efforts to address workplace heat hazards, which it estimates have resulted in considerable economic losses

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is extending its comment period on the agency’s proposal to establish rules to protect workers from heat hazards.

OSHA pushed back the comment period 30 days, and comments will now be accepted through Jan. 26. Comments can be made on Docket No. OSHA-2021-0009 at

The advance notice of proposed rulemaking for heat injury and illness prevention in indoor and outdoor work environments was published on Oct. 27. OSHA says it currently does not have a standard designed to protect workers from exposure to hazardous heat conditions.

  • OSHA says that workplace incidents related to extreme heat are likely underreported, but estimates that 43 workers died and 2,410 others suffered serious heat-related illnesses in 2019; it also estimates that the effect of extreme heat on workers results in an annual economic loss of $100 billion, with the figure expected to rise due to climate change
  • The agency has launched several efforts to protect workers from heat-related illnesses and deaths, including a heat-related enforcement initiative and plans to issue a National Emphasis Program on heat-related safety efforts in 2022
  • OSHA urges employers to be aware of the effects of extreme heat on employees, taking steps such as assessing heat exposures, attending training on identifying symptoms of heat-related illnesses, and offering employees regular breaks for water, rest, and shade

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