Signed Letter Advises Changes to Maryland’s Heat Stress Standard Draft

Signed Letter Advises Changes to Maryland’s Heat Stress Standard Draft

The letter signed by many organizations and individuals called the state’s draft “completely inadequate,” and asked them to look to other state’s standards for examples.

Last month, the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) published a draft of a heat stress standard to protect employees in the state, but it received some negative feedback.

In a signed letter, 38 organizations and 35 individuals of Maryland Heat Illness Prevention Coalition (MHIPC) called for the “withdrawal and redevelopment” of the standard. The letter called the standard “completely inadequate,” and added that it “will not protect Maryland workers from heat-related illnesses and death. Nor, as written, will MOSH be able to effectively enforce the standard,” according to a press release from American Industrial Hygiene Association, one of the organizations who signed the letter.

This year, a few states across the U.S. have taken legal action to protect workers from heat stress. The letter encourages MOSH to look at examples from states with successful standards.

“[T]he vague language in the Maryland proposed standard is contrary to just about every other worker safety and health standard, Federal or state OSHA, which require the implementation of workplace hazard controls aimed at preventing injury, illness, and death on the job,” MHIPC said in the press release. “The proposed standard instead suggests provisions that address heat illness after a worker gets sick, which is too late.”

Environmental heat exposure lead to the death of 43 workers in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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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