At its May 31 meeting, the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health adopted the recommendations of its Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Task Group on key elements for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s heat injury and illness prevention standard. SWACCA submitted pre-rulemaking comments with the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry in January 2022 in response to OSHA’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking regarding heat injury and illness prevention in outdoor and indoor work settings.

The elements NACOSH is recommending for the standard include requiring employers to submit written heat exposure control plans and/or heat illness prevention plans that advise people in administrative positions, managers and workers on heat injury and illness prevention policies; mandating a training framework that describes how the heat illness prevention plan or exposure control plan should be implemented and trains individuals to identify heat hazards, mitigate those hazards and provide emergency response; engaging in environmental monitoring to determine what actions and responses are triggered by certain temperature or heat index thresholds; and ensuring that sufficient workplace control measures are in place, including providing palatable and potable water and providing designated water and shade breaks.

In addition to the recommendations for the heat and illness rulemaking standard, at the NACOSH meeting, the Committee also heard updates on OSHA’s 2023 Spring Regulatory Agenda, which will include the following rulemakings, among others: Heat Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings; Occupational Exposure to Crystalline Silica: Revisions to the Standard for Construction; Walking Working Surfaces; Infectious Diseases; and an update on Lock-Out/Tag-Out.