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Rulemaking to Protect Employees from Outdoor Workplace Exposures to Excessive Heat

Overview

On March 10, 2020, Governor Brown issued Executive Order 20-04 (EO 20-04) that provides  directives to certain state agencies in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and mitigate the impacts of climate change. EO 20-04 includes a directive to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Oregon OSHA to jointly develop a proposal for standards to protect employees from workplace exposures to excessive heat and wildfire smoke. In response to EO 20-04, Oregon OSHA, in collaboration with the OHA, advisory committees, and stakeholders, will work towards developing two separate proposed standards.

Preventing Outdoor Heat-related Illness

Outdoor workers who are exposed to sudden or excessive heat are at risk of developing heat-related illness. Heat-related illnesses include, heat rash and cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. As temperature and humidity increase, so does the level of risk to workers of developing potentially a life-threatening condition, especially when the body is generating its own heat when performing physical work. This situation is particularly serious when hot weather arrives suddenly or early in the season, before workers have had time to adjust to warm weather.

Contact Information:

Gary.L.Robertson@dcbs.oregon.gov

Theodore.Bunch@dcbs.oregon.gov


Meetings

Meeting Schedule: PDF  or Calendar 

Note: We have rescheduled the meeting set for 9/9/21 to September 16, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.

Over the next several months, Oregon OSHA will be holding virtual meetings for both rulemaking efforts with advisory committees and stakeholders to gather information and begin drafting new occupational health standards on both preventing outdoor heat-related illness and protection from unhealthy levels of wildfire smoke. Stakeholders encouraged to participate in either or both rulemaking activities include, but are not limited to, individuals representing outdoor work operations such as crop-production agriculture, landscape construction and maintenance, wildland firefighting, forest activities, most construction, and demolition work. Meetings will focus on the following discussion points:

  • Identification of potentially harmful levels to worker exposures;
  • Engineering, administrative, and personal protection equipment controls to address potentially harmful exposures;
  • Employee training and instruction; and
  • Potential fiscal impacts of proposed rule requirements.

Minutes

Documents

August 16, 2021

August 2, 2021

June 23, 2021

May 26, 2021

May 6, 2021

April 16, 2021

March 25, 2021

March 4, 2021




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