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

Meetings

There are no meetings currently scheduled.

Previous Meetings

Wednesday, May 4, 2022 - 1:00 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 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.