OSHA is launching a nationwide outreach campaign "to raise awareness among workers and employers about the hazards of working outdoors in hot weather." In furtherance of this campaign, OSHA has developed a webpage devoted exclusively to work-related heat illness.
The website provides links to educational resources to inform employers and employees about heat illness and steps to protect workers from the heat. There are also training tools and materials for "vulnerable workers with limited reading skills or who do not speak English as a first language." OSHA also is partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on weather service alerts, which will provide worker safety precautions when extreme heat alerts are issued.
It is common for OSHA to reach out to employers and employees at this time of year to alert them to the potential dangers of work in extreme heat conditions. While OSHA does not have a standard dealing directly with heat stress, OSHA could potentially utilize the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act to cite employers for failing to take steps to protect employees from heat-related illness. Employers in warm climates, in particular, should review their policies and practices to ensure that they have plans in place to deal with heat stress at their worksites.