Heat illness affects thousands of indoor and outdoor workers every year. Often, it can lead to death of a worker. Reducing heat-related illnesses and injuries is a top priority for the Department of Labor which is why OSHA launched a National Emphasis Program to protect workers from heat illness and injuries. National Emphasis Programs are temporary programs that focus the organization’s resources on particular hazards and high-hazard industries.
“Tragically, the three-year average of workplace deaths caused by heat has doubled since the early 1990s. These extreme heat hazards aren’t limited to outdoor occupations, the seasons or geography. From farm workers in California to construction workers in Texas and warehouse workers in Pennsylvania, heat illness – exacerbated by our climate’s rising temperatures – presents a growing hazard for millions of workers.”
Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh
When the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a heat warning or advisory for a local area, OSHA will proactively initiate inspections in over 70 high-risk industries in indoor and outdoor work settings
On days when the heat index is 80 F or higher, OSHA inspectors and compliance assistance specialists will engage in proactive outreach and technical assistance to help stakeholders keep workers safe on the job.
Inspectors will look for and address heat hazards during inspections, regardless of whether the industry is targeted in the NEP.
The goal: make it safe for workers in hot indoor and outdoor environments so that they return home safe and healthy at the end of every day.
• Read a fact sheet on OSHA’s National Emphasis Program to protect workers across the nation from the increasing threat of heat related illness.
• Learn more about working in outdoor and indoor heat environments