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Oregon OSHA adopts temporary rules for extreme heat

heat wave

One day after Oregon Gov. Kate Brown directed the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to establish emergency rules to protect workers from extreme heat, the agency followed through.

On Thursday the agency announced its temporary rules to address worker risk for heat-related illness in the midst of a deadly heatwave. 

Going into effect immediately, the new rules stipulate that when the heat index temperature in the work area equals or exceeds 80° F, employers must provide access to shade and drinking water for workers.

The rules further stipulate that by Aug. 1 employers ensure that workers exposed to such conditions have training on heat-related illness and how to prevent it.

The rules also specify additional high-heat practices that employers must follow once the ambient heat index exceeds 90° F, including having an emergency medical plan for heat illness.