The U.S. Department of Labor is holding a series of Small Business Advocacy Review Panel meetings this summer to gather feedback from small business owners and local governments on the impacts of an indoor/outdoor heat standard for small businesses. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing such a standard in response to rising temperatures causing a heightened level of heat-related workplace hazards.
The working group is particularly interested in collecting input from industries the agency expects would be most affected by a heat standard. The construction industry is a particular stakeholder that the body is looking to for feedback.
The meetings will be held in teleconferences where small businesses can share concerns and discuss current practices for protecting their employees from heat-related illnesses and injuries. The panel also seeks input on how new heat regulations might impact their workplace operations or local business communities. The discussions will be open to the public.
The panels are only the latest effort by OSHA to make heat safety a focus; other measures include:
- Development of an enforcement initiative on heat-related hazards.
- Launch of a National Emphasis Program on heat inspections.
- Creation of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health’s Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Work Group to better understand challenges and identify and share best practices to protect workers.
- Launch of a Heat Illness Prevention campaign to educate employers and workers on the dangers of working in the heat.