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AGC opposes proposed heat rule

AGC opposes proposed heat rule – The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries‘ (L&I) proposed permanent-employee outdoor ambient-heat exposure rule is overly prescriptive and limits the amount of work and craft-earning potential that can be completed during the peak construction season, according to Mandi Kime, AGC’s director of safety. Kime submitted comments on the proposed permanent heat rules, which would replace emergency rules scheduled to expire September 29, 2022. “The construction season has a finite window specifically for our paving contractor employers,” she said. “We would like the department to acknowledge that there are different industries with unique circumstances and situations and the proposed rule does not recognize this.”

Kime pointed out that current successful practices in the industry have led to an extremely low number of workers-comp claims involving heat stress. “AGC believes that the injury/claims data does not support the need for this rule,” Kime said.

Finally, the rule identifies “personal risk factors” such as diabetes, heart disease and more that can greatly contribute to heat-related illness. “Employers are generally not allowed to ask these types of health-related questions upon hiring,” Kime added. “This puts employers in an indefensible position to address specific employees and their personal risk factors.”

For more on the proposed heat rule, click here.

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