How to Comply with OSHA’s National Emphasis Program for Heat

Aug 16, 2022

The Occupational Safety and Health Administation has implemented a National Emphasis Program.

According to OSHA, “This instruction describes policies and procedures for implementing a National Emphasis Program (NEP) to identify and eliminate or reduce worker exposures to occupational heat-related illnesses and injuries in general industry, construction, maritime, and agriculture. It targets specific industries expected to have the highest exposures to heat-related hazards and resulting illnesses and deaths”.

OSHA  however, does not have a current standard, though they are looking to fast track one, for Heat Stress. This means that if you are going to get cited for Heat Stress, they would likely use the General Duty Clause that states you must protect your workers from recognized hazards.

What do contractors need to do to comply? OSHA is looking for 3 components to comply: Training, availability of cold water and a cooler place for break/rest.

Lets have a closer look at each component:

1. Training:
Training can simply be taken care of with a Tool Box Talk (sign into your MCAA Account to download Tool Box Talk #48), the link is below.

Another method of education is a jobsite poster that OSHA has provided. The link is below.

2. Availability of Cold Water:
OSHA requires you to provide cold water on hot days.  This is accomplished by adding ice to water coolers or putting bottles of water on ice.

3.  A Cooler Place to Rest: 
A cooler place to rest does not mean you have to provide and air conditioned area for workers.  You do need to provide them with a shaded area for breaks when it gets hot.

Toolbox Talk: Heat

Heat Stress Poster


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