Ambient Heat Exposure Rulemaking


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.

On June 27, 2023, L&I, Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) filed a Permanent Rulemaking (CR-103P) to update the requirements in 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, Safety Standards for Agriculture – Outdoor Heat Exposure. The effective date is July 17, 2023.

Please see “Meetings & Timeline” tab below for information regarding public hearings. All other related information including adoption language can be found under the “Rule Drafts & Documents” tab

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

Learn more about our rulemaking process and terminology.


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 considered requirements for trigger temperatures, environmental conditions, time frames for when the rule is in effect, preventative measures (such as water, shade or other cooling means, acclimatization 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
Rulemaking Activity for Ambient Heat Exposure
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)
Filed CR-102 Proposed Rulemaking ​ March 21, 2023​
Filed CR-103P Permanent Rulemaking ​ June 27, 2023
Effective date for adopted rules July 17, 2023

Previous Meetings

April, 2023

Outdoor Heat Exposure Public Hearing Presentation 2023

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Thursday, August 4, 2022

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

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

Rule Drafts & Documents

Rule Adoption, Effective July 17, 2023

Proposed Rule Filing, March 21, 2023

August, 2022 Stakeholder Engagement

Emergency Rule Language, Summer, 2022

OSHA Rulemaking Announcements

Current Permanent Rule Language

Outdoor Heat Exposure WAC 296-62-095 

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

Additional Resources

Staff Contacts

For rulemaking questions, please contact: or 360-902-6081.

For technical questions please contact: or 360-770-5724

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