New OSHA NEP for heat hazard protection
By Painters USA Team
— Last updated July 21, 2022
OSHA issued Directive Number CPL 03-00-024 in April of 2022. Following is an excerpt of the executive summary of this directive:
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.
The National Weather Service predicted above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation for the summer of 2022, which is turning out to be an understatement.
What OSHA's new heat hazard NEP means for workplaces
Under the NEP, on-site inspections for complaints and for employer-reported hospitalizations related to heat hazards will be prioritized. OSHA will also generate random inspection lists and conduct inspections of employers on those lists without advanced warning.
Of course workers in the construction industry are vulnerable to heat hazards. Inside work in many industrial facilities can also lead to heat hazards. The directive recommends a number of different controls for reducing heat hazards, including worker training, PPE recommendations, engineering practices (primarily for indoor space), and scheduling/administrative practices.
Painters USA will comply with this new NEP to safeguard our employee crews. We are coordinating efforts with our clients on applicable projects for the remainder of the summer.
Some heat hazard controls we may be implementing:
- Starting work early and scheduling for cooler parts of the day whenever possible.
- Providing cool, easily accessible drinking water on the worksite and allowing workers to take rest and water breaks.
- Use of relief workers if possible and work/rest schedules.
- Training our crews to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses, to look out for each other, and to understand proper first aid procedures.
The safety and welfare of our employees and of client workplaces is a top concern of Painters USA, and we have been taking precautions for the heat waves of 2022.
The OSHA document explaining this new NEP is 41 pages long. View the entire document in PDF format.
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