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AFS Members to Participate in OSHA SBREFA Panel on Forthcoming Heat Illness Rulemaking

Stephanie Salmon

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced it will hold a series of Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) panels in August. These panels provide an opportunity for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to obtain feedback from small businesses and other entities that would be affected by the agency’s pending rulemaking on Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings. 

Small Entity Representatives serving on the panel, including AFS members, will be provided information on the pending rulemaking and then participate in a small-group teleconference to detail concerns and provide input on how a federal heat injury and illness regulation may affect the operations of their workplace. 

The topics to be considered at the upcoming SBREFA panels will include potential options for: (1) the scope of a potential federal standard; (2) a programmatic approach to heat injury and illness prevention; (3) heat hazard identification and assessment; (4) heat hazard prevention and control measures; (5) medical treatment and heat-related emergency response procedures; (6) worker training; and (7) recordkeeping.

The heat injury and illness prevention rulemaking remains a high priority for this administration. AFS submitted comments on OSHA’s Heat Injury and Illness advanced notice of proposed rulemaking in January 2022 and most recently in May to Cal/OSHA on its proposed indoor heat illness prevention standard.

An OSHA Heat Illness Rulemaking Work Group was tasked with developing key recommendations on potential regulatory elements of a heat injury and illness prevention rulemaking that the agency should consider. It presented its recommendations in May to the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH). These recommendations could be the focal point of a federal heat illness standard.

AFS will continue to provide detailed informational updates to our members, including summarizing the SBREFA package, reports out of the panel meeting, and any other major developments in the rulemaking. To keep apprised of this important rulemaking and other OSHA actions, be sure to participate in AFS’ quarterly Safety Committee meetings.  The next meeting is scheduled for September 13, 2023.