Last year, over 130 organizations petitioned OSHA to issue a heat protection standard, citing needs for mandatory rest breaks, PPE, hydration, and monitoring. On July 10, 2019, Representative Judy Chu of California introduced H.R. 3668 to meet the organizations’ request.
H.R. 3668 is called the Asuncion Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act of 2019, in remembrance of a California farmworker who died of heat stroke in 2004 after working 10 hours in 105 degree heat.
The bill cited several reasons for being introduced including:
18 or the hottest 19 years on record have occurred since 2001,
Construction workers and farmworkers suffer the highest incidence of heat illness,
Between 1992 and 2017, 815 workers in the United States have dies from heat on the job and another 70,000 were injured,
And several other factors including, but not limited to, lower labor productivity, workers legal right to a safe workplace, and the absence of a Federal standard
The requirements for the heat standard include the following:
Employer will be required to maintain a Heat Illness Prevention Plan, including hazard prevention using engineering, administrative, and PPE controls.
Required Employee and Supervisor training
Recordkeeping of risk assessments, heat-related illnesses and deaths, and data on heat-related measurements
The bill requires that, if enacted, the final standard be promulgated no later than 42 months after the date of enactment and the standard must provide no less protection than the most protective heat prevention standard adopted by a state plan. Currently, California, Washington, and Minnesota have heat related standards.
Read the Full Bill: H.R.3668 - Asuncion Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act of 2019 | Congress.gov
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