On February 4, CWS submitted comments to OSHA on the agency’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Indoor and Outdoor Settings.
CWS expressed its support for OSHA’s current approach to addressing heat-related illnesses, including the agency’s Water, Rest, Shade guidance, that is designed to be flexibly applied to meet a wide range of workplaces and workforces. As our comments explain, “Every worksite is different, from construction to manufacturing to retail, and all these workplaces have different safety considerations.”
CWS cautioned OSHA against the implementation of a nationwide, “one-size-fits-all” rule that “will not allow for specific industries and employers to continue to maintain their own individualized safety measures created for their particular operations and environmental conditions.” We also called on OSHA to address indoor and outdoor work settings separately due to the vast differences between their related hazards and appropriate mitigation strategies and to take an industry-specific approach to addressing heat injury and illness prevention.
Our comments “encourage OSHA to conduct more outreach, such as stakeholder roundtables and listening sessions, before proceeding to develop a proposed regulation.” This includes conducting a SBREFA panel and consulting with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding the ability of employers to make inquiries that would otherwise run afoul of the workplace anti-discrimination laws.