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New OSHA Heat Hazards Regulations

New OSHA Heat Hazards Regulations - Blog

For the first time, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to protect workers from injuries and illnesses caused by heat hazards. OSHA’s new NEP ramps up the inspection and enforcement of workplaces in industries deemed to be high risk for heat stress. Appendix A of the NEP Document outlines the list of 70 industries affected. Here is everything you need to new about the OSHA’s new EPA.

What Are the New OSHA Heat Hazards Regulations?

OSHA’s inspections prioritize sites with complaints of employer-related heat hazards. Additional inspections occur on days the National Weather Service issues a heat warning or advisory local to that area. Employers to inspect are randomly selected from the list of high-risk industries. On “heat priority days” when the heat index is 80°F or higher, OSHA field staff initiate compliance assistance to help employers keep workers safe on the job. Also, during these days, OSHA inspectors search for and address heat hazards during inspections of all workplaces, regardless of their industry.

The compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) review records of heat-related employee incidents. They interview workers for symptoms that may indicate heat-related illnesses or injuries. Working conditions that could contribute to heat stress such as dealing with hot air or driving a hot vehicle are recorded. Workers’ proximity to furnaces and other hot equipment are noted. They also identify the use of heavy or bulky equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE). CSHOs categorize the exertion of work depending on the duration and level of strenuous activity. They take both average and peak workloads into consideration.

Under the NEP, OSHA has not set any specific standards to comply with. This is because the stages of official rule-making can take multiple years. The NEP is an initiative to make progress while the new rules finalize in court. Although there are no specific guidelines to follow yet, they have outlined general ways to comply in their documentation. The NEP starts on April 8, 2022 and will continue until April 8, 2025 unless cancelled or extended.

 

How Do I Comply with the Standards of These Inspections?

Create a written plan for heat hazard prevention and response. Define how you plan to monitor the heat index of your site and its impact our your workers’ safety. Next, make sure to outline the precautions you are taking to prevent heat stress. Record all incidents, complaints, and concerns with heat illnesses or injuries. Then, document a clear procedure on how to respond to these cases and clearly note each occurrence.

According to Appendix B of the NEP, CSHOs will ensure that the air conditioning is adequate enough to provide a cool place to rest during weekdays. In Appendix D, as an example it is recommended to use air conditioning, proper ventilation, and cooling fans. However, it is also noted that you should tailor your efforts specifically to what you need at your site. Renting portable air conditioners, air filters, and fans/air movers is a great way to be safe and help prevent heat hazards. If you are in the Midwest, On Site Companies is a great resource for these types of climate control rentals.

Schedule rested breaks for hydration and provide access to unlimited cool water for your staff. Give access to shaded areas for employees that spend work time outdoors. Consider using earlier or later start times with rotating shifts to limit exposure to sun. Make sure to give proper PPE, including breathable clothing, as well as hats and sunglasses to protect from the sun.

Provide your staff with training and resources for heat hazard education. Train them on topics such as the symptoms of heat illness, heat stress prevention, the importance of hydration, first aid, and emergency response procedures. Also, consider using a “buddy” system for staff to check in with each other.

 

What Are My Resources for OSHA Heat Hazards Compliance?

The full NEP linked above contains all of the new policies in entirety. However, this NEP Fact Sheet summarizes the most important information into one page. For more in-depth rational and data behind the reasoning for these changes, OSHA references the CDC’s publication, Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Heat and Hot Environments.

OSHA’s area offices are engaging with unions, employers in “high risk” industries, and other advocacy groups for assistance. Their On-Site Consultation Program is a free resource for small and medium-sized businesses. This is separate from and does not result in punishment from OSHA. Consultants work with employers to identify potential hazards and assist in developing plans for OSHA compliance. Employers can request this program by contacting their local consultant.

The Heat Illness Prevention Campaign educates employers and employees on the dangers of heat stress. On their website, OSHA has additional information on the dangers of heat exposure and how to prevent heat stress. Use the Health Safety App to calculate the heat index and view the risk level of your job site on your phone. The OSHA Technical Manual (OTM) is another great resource for training on health, safety, and construction hazards. Also, the National Heat Integrated Heat Health Information System (NHIHHIS) has several helpful tools and articles to assist in your heat hazard prevention plan.

 

Rent Portable Climate Control Equipment with On Site Companies!

On Site Companies takes pride in providing essential products to job sites. With branches located in Minnesota and Missouri, we are proud to serve the Midwest. Our rental products such as air conditioners, air filters, fans, and more help keep workers safe. Request a quote today or call us at 651.429.3781 to speak to an industry expert. We can help you find the perfect solution for your needs!

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How to Prepare Your Job Site for Spring

How to Prepare Your Job Site for Spring

Being proactive is the best way to prepare your job site for the spring. We recommend that you do so as soon as possible to ensure that the right solutions will be available when you need it. Here are the top 5 must-haves for any job site as the weather begins to change.

1) Dehumidifiers

Whether it’s melting snow and ice from the winter or the April showers that bring May flowers, dehumidifiers are a must-have for your job site. Having dehumidifiers ready to go will keep that moisture away from your job site that makes it harder for your team to work.

 

2) Air Conditioners

When spring rolls around it’s time to put away the heaters and bring in the air conditioners. Having a cool job site will keep your employees safe and comfortable enough to work efficiently.

 

3) Air Filters

Having access to air filters to remove any harmful particles, odors, and chemicals that reach your job site is essential to keeping everyone safe. This is particularly important during wet spring months when mold and dust mites can accumulate if moisture isn’t addressed proactively.

 

4) Air Movers

Air movers such as prop fans, exhaust fans, and carpet blowers make a great addition to any job site. They increase the efficiency of the equipment discussed above by controlling the air flow and can also be used to help dry out any moist areas.

 

5) Portable Restrooms for Job Sites

Portable restrooms are essential to any job site to keep your team comfortable. Having employees use off site restrooms can be extremely expensive when you account for the increased time of restroom breaks. Standard restrooms are great, but mobile units, hook units, and high rise units are a game changer.

 

The On Site Solutions

On Site Companies has all of the above solutions help you prepare your job site for spring. It is never too early to begin planning for warmer weather. We recommend that our customers do so to ensure that we have the right solutions for you available when you need it. Call us today to discuss your needs – we would love to provide you with a quote specifically tailored to your job site.

 

 

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Do April Showers Lead to May Mold?

The warm weather is finally here! Green grass and leafy trees are on the horizon. The world is in full bloom on the outside, but has the melting snow and rain caused something to bloom on the inside, too? It’s time to check for mold.

Even if there hasn’t been flooding, all the sudden precipitation and moisture can easily migrate from the outdoors to the indoors. It will make its way into your basement or your upper floors, coming in from the roof. In only 24-48 hours, that moisture can start growing mold or mildew. Mold is a fungal growth that develops on wet materials. That mold can spread not only where you see it, on walls, ceilings, or floors, but also through microscopic spores in the air. Those spores can also cause health issues when inhaled.

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When to Rent a Temporary Air Conditioner

The summer months can be hot, humid, and hard to find relief at times, especially if you’re outside. More than likely, at a construction site you’re already working up a sweat, and nobody wants to go to an outdoor event in the summer and feel uncomfortable. A/C rental can make a huge difference for a company or event. With the option to escape the heat and truly cool off, guests won’t wish they had stayed home and your employees will likely feel more comfortable throughout the day, boosting morale. Air conditioning rental for outdoor events can be the key to happy guests, and A/C rental for construction can make working a little more bearable. (more…)

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