OSHA Seeks Small Business Heat Safety Engagement
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is looking for small business leaders to weigh in on the development of federal heat safety standards to protect workers.
OSHA officials are developing a standard for heat injury and illness prevention for outdoor and indoor work settings.
The standard could cover work in general industry, construction, maritime, and agricultural sectors.
The agency has added heat safety to its list of priorities in recent years.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries estimates an average of 3,389 work-related heat injuries and illnesses each year from 2011 to 2020, resulting in days away from work.
In October of 2021, OSHA published an advanced notice of a proposed rulemaking in the federal register for heat injury and illness prevention to initiate the rulemaking.
The department has also launched a number of initiatives, including a national emphasis program to decrease the number of heat-related injuries.
Officials said the ultimate goal is to prevent or reduce the number of occupational injuries, illnesses, and deaths caused by exposure to hazardous heat.
Now, the department is putting together a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel made up of small business owners, non-profit leaders, and representatives from local government entities to participate in discussions about a potential standard.
In addition, the panel will have representatives from OSHA, the U.S. SBA Office of Advocacy, and the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
The meetings will be held as teleconferences.
OSHA officials said they would look to small business leaders to share their concerns and discuss current practices for protecting their employees from heat-related injuries and illnesses.
Businesses looking to participate can contact the SBA’s Bruce Lundegren.
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