Heat Stress Standard Development Moves Forward
Virginia is moving forward with its plan to develop a heat stress standard in the workplace. On September 1, 2021, the Virginia Safety & Health Codes Board held a Heat Illness Prevention Advisory Panel Meeting. The proposed standard will be reviewed by small groups that will meet throughout the month of September and report back to the board. The standard will then go through the legislative process before being finalized.
A few highlights of the proposed heat stress standard:
- The standard applies to indoor work environments only
- It is based on already adopted or proposed standards from the states of CA, OR MD.
- A “temperature trigger” will be considered to determine when the standard applies.
- “Cool down areas” will be defined including a maximum temperature.
- The traditional hierarchy of controls will be applied including the administrative control of using a buddy system
- EMS procedures will be required to ensure employers are prepared to properly and promptly respond to employees who show signs or symptoms of heat stress on the job
- A written heat stress illness prevention program will be required
- Vehicles are considered indoor work environments therefore the standard will apply
For more information, including a recording of the meeting, go here on Virginia’s DOLI website.