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Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act Advances

Act would see OSHA establish an enforceable federal standard to protect employees from heat illness and injuries

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Hot sun Alexas Fotos VIA PIXABAY Aug 2022

The Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act is now working its way through the legislative process.

In late July, the House Labor and Education Committee advanced a bill, by a vote of 27-19, that would direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to establish an enforceable standard that protects workers in jobs at risk for hazardous heat stress.

According to reports, the bill, named after a California farmworker who died of heat stroke in 2004, was introduced by Rep. Judy Chu of California in late March 2021.

The bill would also extend the statute of limitations for OSHA to issue a citation for a violation of the new standard from six months to four years and sets requirements for training and education aimed at preventing and responding to heat illness, as well as whistle-blower protections.

OSHA launches first-ever NEP on heat illness and injury

Last spring, OSHA launched a National Emphasis Program to protect millions of workers from heat illness and injuries.

Through this program, OSHA will conduct heat-related workplace inspections before workers suffer completely preventable injuries, illnesses or worse, fatalities.

As part of the program, OSHA will proactively initiate pre-planned inspections in over 70 high-risk industries in indoor and outdoor work settings when the National Weather Service has issued a heat warning or advisory for a local area. The list includes certain farming and agricultural businesses.

OSHA has inspected 564 workplaces for heat illness since April 2022.

Harvest Safety Week 2022 focusing on the heat

The National Grain and Feed Association’s annual Harvest Safety Week, being held August 22-26, will have a special emphasis on heat-related illnesses and how they impact grain processing employees.

Additional safety resources and heat illness prevention tips can be found by visiting

Be sure to follow #HarvestSafetyWeek for more information.

Heat-related illness resources

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