Ambient Heat Exposure Rulemaking

Status 

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is conducting rulemaking to update the requirements for occupational heat exposure hazards from high ambient temperatures in all industries, including outdoor and indoor exposures.

L&I adopted emergency rules on June 1, 2022 to address high heat procedures. The rules are effective from June 15, 2022 through September 29, 2022. Please see “Rule Drafts and Documents” for the adoption language and related information.

See all the rulemaking activity for Ambient Heat Exposure on our L&I Rulemaking page.

Learn more about our rulemaking process and terminology.

Overview

L&I is conducting rulemaking related to WAC 296-62-095 through WAC 296-62-09560, General Occupational Health Standards – Outdoor Heat Exposure, and WAC 296-307-097 through WAC 296-307-09760, Agriculture Safety Standards – Outdoor Heat Exposure. The department will consider requirements for trigger temperatures or another measure of environmental conditions stress to the human body such as heat index or wet bulb globe temperature, time frames for when the rule is in effect, preventative measures (such as water, shade or other cooling means, and rest/time breaks), emergency response measures, training and planning.

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) received a petition for rulemaking on June 28, 2021 requesting changes to L&I’s rules to include more specific requirements to prevent heat-related illness. During the significant and unprecedented 2021 heat wave, L&I received another petition requesting the department adopt emergency rules to address preventative measures when there is extreme high heat. Both petitions for rulemaking were accepted, recognizing the need to reexamine the current rules, especially in light of information suggesting the occurrence of illnesses below the current trigger temperatures and the increasing temperatures experienced in our state since the rule was first established.

In September, 2021, OSHA announced they would begin enhanced, expanded measures to protect workers from hazards of extreme heat, indoors and out. DOSH is required to update our rules in order to be at least as effective as OSHA, and maintain the Washington State Plan.

L&I adopted emergency rules on July 9, 2021, and again on June 1, 2022 to address extreme high heat procedures with requirements for preventative cool-down rest with specific amounts of shade and mandatory cool-down rest periods at 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Meetings & Timeline

Upcoming Virtual Stakeholder Meetings

No meetings are currently scheduled at this time.

Previous Meetings

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Wednesday, May 4, 2022 - 1 p.m.

Thursday, March 17, 2022 - 1:00 p.m.

Action Item Date
Filed CR-101 Pre-proposal Statement of Inquiry August 17, 2021
Filed CR-103 Emergency Rule-making Order July 9, 2021 (expires Nov 9, 2021)
Filed CR-103 Emergency Rule-making Order June 1, 2022 (expires Sept 29, 2022)
Rule Drafts & Documents

OHE Discussion Draft August 25, 2022 – SPANISH

Q&A from the Outdoor Heat Exposure Stakeholder Meeting August 31 2022

OHE Discussion Draft, August 25, 2022

Questions & Answers from the Outdoor Heat Exposure Stakeholder Meeting – August 4, 2022

OHE Discussion draft 8.2.2022

Chapter 296-62-095 Outdoor Heat Exposure Emergency Adoption Language (Effective June 15 through September 29, 2022)

Chapter 296-307- 097 Outdoor Heat Exposure (Agriculture) Emergency Adoption Language (Effective June 15 through September 29, 2022)

Spanish translation of June, 2022 emergency rule language 

Outdoor Heat Exposure WAC 296-62-095 

Outdoor Heat Exposure (Agriculture) WAC 296-307-097 

US Department of Labor announces enhanced, expanded measures to protect workers from hazards of extreme heat, indoors and out | Occupational Safety and Health Administration (osha.gov)

Survey Responses, English

Survey Responses, Spanish

Stakeholder Feedback

Stakeholder feedback received by L&I for the Ambient Heat Exposure rulemaking.

September 2022

August 2022

Additional Resources

Existing permanent rules

Current temporary rules

Rulemaking efforts/legislative efforts

NIOSH


Staff Contacts

For rulemaking questions, please contact:
Carmyn.Shute@Lni.wa.gov or 360-902-6081.

For technical questions please contact:
Bradley.Farrar@Lni.wa.gov or 360-701-4621 or Laura.RasconPadilla@lni.wa.gov or 206-735-8467

Get updates via email

If you would like to receive email updates regarding this proposed rulemaking project and future stakeholder meetings, please sign up for our email updates.