Adele L. Abrams, Esq., CMSP
Oregon OSHA Adopts New Heat Illness Prevention Rules
Oregon OSHA is adopting these Heat Illness Prevention rules in Division 2 - General occupational safety and health and Division 4 - Agriculture. These rules offer protections in both indoor and outdoor environments, with exceptions for heat generated from a work process (such as occurs in foundries).
When the heat index temperature in the work area equals or exceeds 80 °F, the rule provides provisions for access to shade and drinking water for workers. In addition, by August 1, 2021, the rule calls for employers to ensure that employees exposed to such conditions have training on heat-related illness and how to prevent it.
The rule specifies additional high-heat practices that employers must foll
ow once the ambient heat index exceeds 90 °F. They must also have an emergency medical plan in place describing procedures to be followed if a heat illness happens. Lastly, employers must develop and implement effective acclimatization practices.