Oregon OSHA Adopts New Rules on Heat and Wildfire Smoke

Oregon OSHA Adopts New Rules on Heat and Wildfire Smoke

The rules follow temporary emergency requirements from last year.

Heat exposure can be a problem for many workers. A total of 144 workers died from environmental heat exposure in the US from 2011-2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Oregon is taking action to help keep workers safe in high temperatures.

According to a press release, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) adopted new rules on heat and wildfire smoke to protect workers. Topics under the new heat rule include “access to shade and cool water, preventative cool-down breaks, and prevention plans, information and training.” The wildfire smoke rule addresses “exposure assessments and controls” as well as training and communication, according to the press release.

The announcement came last week after the rules were proposed in February. In summer 2021, Oregon OSHA adopted a temporary emergency requirement. The heat rule goes into effect June 15, 2022 and the wildfire smoke rule July 1, 2022.

In the last year, OSHA has taken steps to adopt a federal heat standard. In 2021, OSHA initiated the rulemaking with an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. In April 2022, the Biden Administration announced a national emphasis program to help high-risk industries and certain employers keep workers safe in high heat.

To learn more about OSHA’s work on a federal heat standard, read or listen to our additional resources or podcast.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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