Washington State Adopts Emergency Rule for Outdoor Heat Exposure
The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) filed emergency heat exposure rules affecting anyone whose job keeps them outside. From June 15 through the end of September, employers in Washington will be required to monitor temperature and air quality, take additional steps to protect workers from heat and smoke hazards, and provide training and information. The regulations were enacted to provide protection to workers while L&I works on a permanent regulation.
Outdoor Heat Exposure Rules
The requirement to take action has been set when temperatures are at or above 89 degrees Fahrenheit. The emergency heat rules combined with existing rules require employers to:
- Provide enough sufficiently cool water available for each employee to drink at least a quart an hour;
- Provide sufficient shade that is large enough for and close enough to workers;
- Encourage and allow workers to take paid preventative cool-down breaks as needed; and
- Require a 10-minute, paid cool-down break every two hours.
Existing rules already require ready access to at least one quart of drinking water per worker per hour, an outdoor heat exposure safety program with training, and an appropriate response to workers who are experiencing heat-related illness symptoms.
Depending on the type of clothing workers are wearing, the temperature at which the requirements kick in may be even lower. Employers can substitute other means of lowering body temperature for shade, like an air-conditioned trailer or a misting station.
Employers must monitor temperatures and have a system in place, like a mandatory buddy rule, regular check-in by phone or radio, or other effective method to identify if a worker is showing signs of heat-related illness. If there are signs of illness, employers must relieve workers from duty, provide shade or other means of cooling down, and determine if additional medical attention is needed.
L&I’s Be Heat Smart web page has complete details of the requirements and additional steps employers and workers can take to prevent heat-related illnesses.
Marci Kinter is the Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs at PRINTING United Alliance, the most comprehensive member-based printing and graphic arts association in the United States, comprised of the vast communities which it represents. The Alliance serves industry professionals across market segments with pertinent education, training, workshops, events, research, government and legislative representation, safety, and environmental sustainability guidance, as well as resources from the leading media company in the industry – NAPCO Media. Now a division of PRINTING United Alliance, Idealliance is the global leader in standards training and certification for printing and graphic arts operations across the entire industry supply chain.
In this article, Marci addresses an emergency rule for outdoor heat exposure in the State of Washington. More information can be found at Business Excellence-Environmental, Health and Safety Affairs or reach out to Marci should you have additional questions specific to how these issues may affect your business: email@example.com.
To become a member of PRINTING United Alliance and learn more about how PRINTING United Alliance subject matter experts can assist your company with services and resources such as those mentioned in this article, please contact the Alliance membership team: 888-385-3588 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marcia Kinter is the Vice President, Government & Regulatory Affairs at PRINTING United Alliance. Ms. Kinter oversees the development of resources for the Association addressing environmental, safety & health, and sustainability issues. She represents the printing industry, as well as their associated supplier base, before federal and state regulatory agencies on environmental, safety and other government issues directly impacting the printing industry.
In 2008, Kinter, in conjunction with colleagues from other printing trade associations, was instrumental in launching the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership program. The SGP Program is a registry system for printing facilities that includes third party verification. The program successfully launched as an independent organization in August 2008.
Kinter is a member of and serves as Secretary for the Academy of Screen Printing Technology. In 2001, Kinter received the William D. Schaeffer Environmental Award for significant advancement of environmental awareness in the graphic arts industry.
Before joining PRINTING United Alliance, Kinter worked for The American Waterways Operators, Inc., the national association for the barge and towing industry.
She holds bachelor’s degree in urban planning from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a master’s degree in public administration from George Mason University.