Thermal Stress Working Group


Background

Occupational heat exposure increases the risk of heat illness and injuries and decreases worker performance. According to OSHA, heat is the leading cause of death among all weather-related phenomena. A recent study suggests a 1% increased risk of occupational injury for every 1°C increase in temperature above reference values.

OSHA recently published a new enforcement initiative on heat-related hazards, the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings, and has empowered a NACOSH heat injury and illness prevention workgroup to assist in this effort. State agencies such as California, Washington, and Oregon have increased legislative efforts to address heat hazards.

The ACGIH heat stress TLV, based on Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) has been the industrial hygiene standard for heat illness prevention, however, the real-world application is challenging, especially for small businesses. In an attempt to simplify heat stress guidance, NIOSH and OSHA developed the AIHA heat safety app. The heat index measure may not estimate overall risk as effectively as the WBGT, especially at higher metabolic work rates. To this end, it has been recommended that this working group investigate, develop and validate a new tool that would benefit employers, including small businesses, independent contractors, construction, and agricultural workers, among others.

Working Group Composition

There is no limit on the size of this working group. A chair, vice-chair, and secretary will be selected to serve as the leadership of the group, with officer rotations to commence at the close of AIHce. At that time, the chair will serve as the past chair, vice-chair to chair, secretary to vice-chair, etc. The secretary position is an elected position and will be implemented during the second year of this working group. While not required, the selection of a secretary-elect will ensure a smooth transition.

Participation is NOT limited to AIHA membership. We envision input from other volunteer groups whose interests align with the areas of concern noted above, as well as allied associations (e.g., American Geophysical Union, NOAA, NIOSH, OSHA, ACGIH). To join this working group, please click here.

Diversity and Inclusion

AIHA fosters diversity and inclusion of all people within our membership and adheres to a diversity policy built around respect for individuals regardless of where they are on life's journey. AIHA prohibits discrimination based on age, citizenship, color, cultural background, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity/expression, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or veteran status. Furthermore, AIHA prohibits all harassment and threatening behavior that detracts from the learning experience which is central to AIHA’s mission.

TO JOIN - CLICK HERE!

Questions?

For more information or questions, please contact Michele Twilley, DrPH, CIH.