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.

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. The petition for rulemaking was 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, 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
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)​

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 360-902-4825 or Drew.Kertzman@Lni.wa.gov or 360-902-4543

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.