On April 12, 2022, OSHA launched its National Emphasis Program (NEP) to protect workers from heat-related hazards in indoor and outdoor workplaces. Through the program, OSHA will conduct workplace inspections aimed at identifying heat-related hazards before workers suffer preventable injuries, illnesses or fatalities.
This NEP applies to all industries. The NEP became effective on April 8, 2022, and will remain in effect for three years, unless canceled or extended by a superseding directive.
The NEP establishes heat priority days, when the heat index is expected to be 80 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. On those priority days, OSHA will:
- Initiate compliance assistance in the targeted high-risk industries; and
- Continue to investigate any alleged heat-related fatality, catastrophe, complaint or referral, regardless of whether the worksite falls within a targeted high-risk industry.
The NEP encourages employers to protect their workers from heat-related hazards during heat priority days by providing them with access to water, rest, shade, and adequate training, as well as implementing acclimatization procedures for new or returning employees.
Employers should review the NEP and implement adequate policies and procedures to prevent heat-related illnesses and fatalities among workers.