As the temperatures rise this weekend to above 90 degrees in most places in Oregon, here is a reminder of OR OSHA’s Heat Rules that took effect on June 15th.
The OR OSHA heat rules are applicable to outdoor and indoor work activities when temperatures are equal to or exceed 80 degrees. The rules require employers to provide employees with access to shade, cool or cold drinking water, and additional rest breaks when temperatures reach 90 degrees or higher. The rules also require an acclimation plan, a heat illness prevention plan, and supervisor and employer training.
The rules list the following workplace and operations as exempt:
- Incidental heat exposures where an employee is not required to perform work activities for more than 15 minutes in any sixty-minute period.
- Exposures to heat generated from the work process – such as occurs in bakeries.
- All emergency operations that are directly involved in the protection of life or property, or the restoration of essential services, such as evacuation, rescue, medical, structural firefighting, law enforcement, utilities, and communications, when employees are engaged in those operations.
- Buildings and structures that have a mechanical ventilation system that keeps the heat index below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
The rules list the following workplaces and operations as partially exempt:
- Employers whose employees perform either “rest” or “light” workloads, as defined in the rule.
- Associated support activities for wildland firefighters, such as fire camp services and fire management, are exempt only from the acclimatization plan.
- Employees who work from home are subject only to the training requirements.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to Cascade if you have questions.