ASSP Introduces First Heat Stress Standard for Construction and Demolition

ASSP Introduces First Heat Stress Standard for Construction and Demolition

More than 30 safety experts developed the standard over a three-year period.

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) has released the first national voluntary consensus standard addressing the effects of heat stress on construction and demolition workers. The ANSI/ASSP A10.50-2024 standard provides employers with guidance on how to effectively manage heat-related risks in the workplace.

According to a release dated Feb. 26, the measure—dubbed Heat Stress Management in Construction and Demolition Operations—includes best practices and strategies for acclimating workers to heat, training requirements for employees and supervisors as well as practical measures such as ensuring adequate rest, water breaks and access to shade.

The new standard also emphasizes the importance of medical monitoring and the buddy system to prevent heat-related illnesses, which can range from mild conditions like heat rash and cramps to severe cases of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 400 workers have died of heat exposure since 2011.

“This new industry consensus standard is an important development because there is no federal regulation focused on heat stress,” ASSP President Jim Thornton said in a statement. “Employers need expert guidance on how to manage heat-related risks. They must have the tools and resources to identify and help prevent work hazards before an incident occurs.”

The standard—which was developed by over 30 safety and health experts over a three-year period—was specifically designed with the construction and demolition industries in mind, but the ASSP stresses it can be adapted to apply to a wide range of outdoor work environments, including tree trimming, farming, road maintenance and pipeline painting.

For more information on industry safety standards, visit the ASSP website.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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