OSHA has announced two new “initiatives” aimed at improving compliance in traditional “summertime” areas of concern for the agency: heat illness and falls.
OSHA’s latest campaign is intended to raise the awareness among workers and employers about the hazards of working outdoors in hot weather. It has created a webpage (www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/index.html) devoted exclusively to work-related heat illness. While OSHA does not have a standard dealing directly with heat stress, it could utilize the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to cite employers for failing to take adequate steps to protect employees from heat illness. Employers should review their policies and practices to ensure they have plans to deal with heat stress at their worksites.
Preventing Falls in Construction
OSHA also has launched a webpage (www.osha.gov/ stopfalls/index.html) devoted to preventing falls in the construction industry. OSHA provides educational and other materials to employers on preventing falls in construction, training employees, and planning jobs safely. Fall hazards also are a major focus of enforcement in the construction industry. Construction employers must ensure full compliance with OSHA’s standards.