A word to the wise: It’ll soon be a lot harder for OSHA to defend the proposed fines it slaps on employers for failing to protect crew members from the high heat.
That’s because an administrative law judge just ruled that the agency can no longer use the heat index chart produced by the National Weather Service to prove employees were at risk for heat illness. The ruling involved an appeal of proposed OSHA citations against the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).
The USPS argued that the science behind the heat index chart is flawed, and a judge agreed, then dismissed five citations totaling $511,413 in fines.
Your best bet: While OSHA will have harder time citing operations that don’t protect staffers from the high heat, remember that your existing heat illness prevention program already has a sound business basis. What responsible employer wants workers dropping dead while they’re laboring in high temperatures?
(From the August 3, 2020, issue of OSHA Compliance News. To download the rest of the issue right now, please click here.)