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L&I released proposed rules for Outdoor Heat Exposure. These changes put into place preventative measures to protect workers from overheating, which in turn reduces the risk of heat-related illness and traumatic injuries like falling from ladders. L&I worked with stakeholders in developing the proposed rules. Input was solicited through an outdoor heat exposure scoping survey. Four stakeholder meetings were held virtually, and stakeholders were able to participate online or by phone. Stakeholder feedback was also solicited once the draft language was developed.

The proposed rules include the following:

  • Updates to the existing temperature action levels, moving from 89°F to 80°F for most outdoor work. This trigger level applies to certain portions of the rule such as drinking water and shade.
  • Requirements related to when and how much shade must be provided.
  • Access to preventative cool-down periods as needed to prevent overheating.
  • An acclimatization section requiring close observation of employees during heat waves, new workers, and those returning from absences; and
  • High-heat procedures requiring close observation of employees and mandatory cool-down rest periods of 10 minutes every 2 hours at 90°F, and 15 minutes every hour at 100°F.

The public comment period is open through May 11, 2023. There are 5 in-person hearings across the state and one virtual public hearing.  Attached is a fact sheet with further details.

Proposed Outdoor Heat Exposure Rule Fact Sheet



Thursday, 23 March 2023