With summer now upon us, employees are being exposed to higher temperatures in or at workplaces, and OSHA has announced an initiative to enforce claims related to heat-related illnesses and deaths. Although OSHA has not yet adopted specific standards related to heat exposure, it has relied on its "general duty clause" to find employers in violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act by exposing employees to the dangers of heat.
To this end, employers should be careful to make sure employees working in the heat, whether indoors or outdoors, are provided ample hydration, shade, and appropriate break times, as well as being educated on the symptoms of heat-related illnesses. OSHA's website has a Heat Illness Prevention webpage for employers to consult on best practices at:
If you have any questions about OSHA's enforcement stance on heat-related illnesses, please contact members of our firm's labor and employment law practice:
Eric J. Holshouser | 904.346.5788 | EHolshouser@rtlaw.com
Samuel J. Horovitz | 904.346.5774 | SHorovitz@rtlaw.com
Robert G. Riegel, Jr. | 904.473.1383 | RRiegel@rtlaw.com
Michael J. Lufkin | 904.346.5795 | MLufkin@rtlaw.com
Kathryn K. Rudderman | 904.346.5791 | KRudderman@rtlaw.com