On Safety: OSHA’s NEP on outdoor, indoor heat hazards
On April 8, OSHA launched its long-awaited National Emphasis Program on outdoor and indoor heat hazards. A compliance directive (OSHA Instruction CPL 03-00-0240) describes agency policies and procedures related to the NEP. The program targets specific industries that OSHA considers to have the highest exposure potential to heat-related hazards and resulting illnesses and deaths.
Most new OSHA enforcement programs provide for a 90-day period during which the agency provides compliance assistance and outreach before actually inspecting and assessing citations and penalties. However, this NEP – because of the extended outreach already provided by OSHA – went into effect immediately.
State Plans are expected to adopt the NEP so that their standards remain at least as effective as federal OSHA’s standards. State Plans must, within 60 days of the effective date of the instruction, submit a notice of intent indicating whether they already have a similar policy in place, intend to adopt new policies and procedures, or don’t intend to adopt the instruction.
Which industries and worksites will be targeted?
Three tables in Appendix A of the NEP are key in determining whether your industry is on OSHA’s inspection targeting list.
Table 1 (non-construction) will be used to create a master list of targeted establishments within the North American Industrial Classification System. Table 2 lists construction industries that are likely to have heat-related hazards. Table 3 lists non-construction industries with a history of heat-related incidents that are not in Tables 1 or 2.
Each OSHA area office will create a list of sites within its jurisdiction from Appendix A, Tables 1-3. That list then will be randomized, and jobsites to be inspected will be chosen from this list.
For establishments inspected under other targeting systems (such as Local Emphasis Programs) or under non-programmed inspections (fatalities, hospitalizations, complaints and referrals), and are on the inspection targeting list of the NEP, the scope of those inspections will be expanded to address the criteria under the NEP. Additionally, during any inspection in which a compliance officer determines that the potential for heat exposure exists, and that site isn’t part of the NEP inspection targeting list, the inspection will be expanded to address the potential for heat injuries.