The dangers of extreme heat increase each year due to climate change. To put this into perspective, 18 of the last 19 summers were the hottest in heat history. Subsequently, workers have suffered more than 3,500 heat-related injuries and illnesses each year. To combat this prevalent danger for workers, OSHA launched the National Emphasis Program (NEP) on April 8, 2022, and it will remain in effect for 3 years unless cancelled or extended. The goal is to launch heat-related workplace inspections to prevent heat-born injuries, illness, or fatalities.

The NEP functions as a national enforcement mechanism for OSHA to inspect workplaces for indoor or outdoor heat-related hazards in the general industry, maritime, construction, or agricultural spaces. This program establishes heat priority days when the heat index is forecasted to reach or exceed 80ºF. On days that the National Weather Service announces a local heat warning or advisory, OSHA will conduct planned inspections for workplaces in high-risk industries and provide necessary compliance assistance. If a heat-related fatality, catastrophe, or complaint occurs, OSHA will conduct an inspection even if the workplace is not in a targeted NEP industry. 

In addition to OSHA’s actions, the NEP encourages employers to protect their workers from harsh heat by providing access to water, rest, shade, trainings, and workplace acclimatization to new employees. OSHA field staff is also available to proactively work with and provide technical compliance to businesses that want to develop heat-illness prevention plans and keep their employees safe. 

To learn more about the NEP and preventing heat-related injuries and illnesses, Visit:

DII is your partner in indoor or outdoor workplace safety. Our team of experts can work with you to understand how to protect your employees in the coming heat waves. Please contact your DII representative for more information. #NEP  #HeatWaves 

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