OSHA tees up long-awaited heat standard to protect workers

By Nick Niedzwiadek | 06/12/2024 04:17 PM EDT

The rules have been long in coming and are unlikely to be finalized this year.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has submitted a draft of a sweeping standard to protect workers from heat-related harm while on the job to the White House’s regulatory clearinghouse.

The details: The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, an arm of the Office of Management and Budget, received OSHA’s submission on Tuesday. OIRA review generally takes several weeks to complete — though sometimes can take significantly longer — and is one of the final steps before regulations are publicly released.

OSHA has been developing a heat safety standard since the early part of the Biden administration that is expected to cover both indoor and outdoor hazards. It’s been a slow-moving process closely watched by employer groups anxious that it could be onerous and costly to comply with.


Why it matters: According to the Labor Department, dozens of workers die annually and thousands more are injured due to extreme heat — a threat that climate change is expected to worsen as temperatures rise and hot periods stretch longer.