Breaking News: OSHA Plans to Restructure Regions, Advance Heat Safety Rule

  • Published
  • 9 May 2024
  • Category
  • News

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued two national press releases today: one on plans to realign regional office coverage this fiscal year and the other on advancement of its proposed heat safety rule.

Regional Coverage

OSHA announced it will realign its regional operations to use resources more effectively and better meet the needs of employee populations, including those who are underserved. A new OSHA regional office will be opened in Birmingham, AL, to oversee agency operations in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and the Florida panhandle. Regions 9 and 10 will be merged into a new San Francisco Region. The Region 9 office in San Francisco currently serves Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands and Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Guam, Palau and more than 157 tribes, including the Navajo Nation. The Region 10 office, based in Seattle, WA, currently serves Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. View a map of the new regional structure and boundaries.

Heat Safety

OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health has unanimously recommended that the agency move forward to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking on its proposed heat safety standard, which will allow stakeholders and the general public to submit comments. In the interim, OSHA will continue its outreach and enforcement efforts to protect workers from heat-related hazards under the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s general duty clause and other applicable regulations.

OSHA launched a related National Emphasis Program – Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards in 2022 that targets workplaces with high risk for heat illness. Priority is also being placed on heat safety inspections in agricultural industries that employ temporary, non-immigrant H-2A workers for seasonal labor.