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OSHA Issues Heat Hazard Alert to Safeguard Workers Amid Rising Temperatures

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

As sweltering temperatures sweep across various regions in the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has taken proactive measures to protect workers from the potential risks of heat illness. In response to the excessive heat warnings and advisories issued by the National Weather Service, OSHA released a crucial heat hazard alert on Thursday, urging employers to prioritize the safety and well-being of their workers during scorching weather conditions.

Acting Secretary of Labor, Julie Su, stressed the urgency of safeguarding workers from heat-related hazards. Historically, extreme temperatures have put the nation’s workforce at considerable risk, making it crucial for employers to take immediate action to protect their employees.

“A workplace heat standard has long been a top priority for the Department of Labor, but rulemaking takes time, and working people need help now,” Su said. “Today, at the president’s request, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a heat hazard alert to make sure employers follow current standards and that workers across the country know their rights.”

Moreover, OSHA’s commitment to safeguarding workers extends to temporary employees. As part of its Temporary Worker Initiative, the agency has offered guidance on protecting temporary workers from heat illnesses. The host employer has been assigned the primary responsibility for developing heat illness and injury programs, ensuring the availability of cool water and shaded rest areas, and implementing other safety measures to prevent heat-related health issues.

The recent heat hazard alert and intensified enforcement efforts come at the behest of President Biden, who has emphasized the need for prompt action to protect workers. While the process of rulemaking for a workplace heat standard may take time, the urgent nature of the situation necessitates immediate action to ensure workers’ well-being.

By heeding OSHA’s heat hazard alert and following safety guidelines, employers can create a safer work environment and empower workers with the knowledge of their rights and protections against heat-related risks. In the face of rising temperatures, prioritizing worker safety remains a fundamental responsibility for employers across the nation.

Making sure you are staffing up for summer is a great way to protect your workers from prolonged exposure to summer heat.  If your property is in need of extra help this summer or you are looking for additional HVAC help to keep your tenants cool, reach out to find out more about how BGSF can assist your property with skilled property managed workers.

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