OSHA Proposes Rule on Heat Injury and Illness Prevention

Link to article brewery worker shoveling spent grain with OSHA logo overlaid
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On July 2, 2024, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced an upcoming notice of proposed rulemaking addressing Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings. An unofficial version of the proposed rule is available on the OSHA website. The official version has not been published in the Federal Register, so it could be subject to change. Once the rule is published, there will be a comment period allowing individuals, businesses, and industry associations time to weigh in. The Brewers Association (BA) staff is monitoring the development of OSHA’s new standard and a similar regulation in California.

The following are some, but not all, of the potential ways this new standard could impact the industry.

In certain circumstances, most businesses whose employees are exposed to defined temperatures would be required to develop and implement a work site Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (HIIPP) with site-specific information. Other provisions may require the business to provide a readily accessible area with air conditioning or increased air movement for employees to take breaks. In certain situations, the employer must provide employees a minimum 15-minute paid rest break at least every two hours in the break area.

These are just some provisions of this proposal that could directly impact breweries and their employees. BA staff are monitoring and actively engaged on this issue and will provide more information when the official rule is published.

Heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States. To learn more about heat stress in your brewery, read these Tips for Keeping Employees Safe.

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