Compliance Bulletin

OSHA’s Outdoor and Indoor Heat-related Hazards National Emphasis Program

On April 8, 2022, OSHA launched its National Emphasis Program(NEP) to protect workers from heat-related hazards in indoor and outdoor workplaces. Through the program, OSHA will conduct workplace inspections aimed at identifying heat-related hazards before workers suffer preventable injuries, illnesses or fatalities.

This NEP applies to all industries. The NEP became effective on April 8, 2022, and will remain in effect for three years, unless canceled or extended by a superseding directive.

NEP Background

The NEP established heat priority days, when the heat index is expected to be 8- degrees Fahrenheit or higher. On those priority days, OSHA will:

  • Initiate compliances assistance in the targeted high-risk industries; and 
  • Continue to investigate any alleged heat-related fatality, catastrophe, complaint or referral, regardless of whether the worksite falls within a targeted high-risk industry.

The NEP encourages employers to protect their workers from heat-related hazards during heat priority days by providing them with access to water, rest, shade and adequate training, as well as implementing acclimatization procedures for new or returning employees.

Action Steps for Employers

Employers should review the NEP and implement adequate policies and procedures to prevent heat-related illnesses and fatalities among workers.

Heat-related Hazard Control

General steps that employers can take to materially reduce or eliminate workers’ exposure to heat-related hazards include:

  • Conduct training;
  • Providing personal protective equipment;
  • Utilizing engineering controls;
  • Ensuring safe work practices;
  • Using administrative controls;
  • Performing health screenings; and
  • Enforcing heat alert programs.

Important Dates

April 8, 2022

On this date, the NEP went into effect.

May 3, 2022

Stakeholder meeting being held on OSHA’s ongoing efforts to protect workers from heat-related hazards. 

April 8, 2025

On this date, the NEP is scheduled to expire.