Text: H.R.3668 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/10/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
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[H.R. 3668 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 3668

To direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue an 
 occupational safety and health standard to protect workers from heat-
                    related injuries and illnesses.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             July 10, 2019

  Ms. Judy Chu of California (for herself, Mr. Scott of Virginia, Ms. 
Adams, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Levin of Michigan, Ms. Jayapal, Ms. Wild, Ms. 
Bonamici, Ms. Omar, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Takano, Mr. DeSaulnier, Mr. Danny 
 K. Davis of Illinois, Ms. Norton, Mr. Cohen, Mrs. Watson Coleman, Ms. 
     Roybal-Allard, Mr. Cardenas, Mr. Sablan, Mrs. Napolitano, Ms. 
   Velazquez, and Ms. Meng) introduced the following bill; which was 
            referred to the Committee on Education and Labor

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue an 
 occupational safety and health standard to protect workers from heat-
                    related injuries and illnesses.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND FINDINGS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Asuncion Valdivia 
Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act of 2019''.
    (b) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) Excessive heat exposure poses a direct threat to 
        workers and the economy. Climate change increases this danger, 
        as 18 of the 19 hottest years on record have occurred since 
        2001. Rising temperatures are projected to cause an increase in 
        heat-related workplace injuries and illnesses, a dramatic loss 
        in labor capacity, and decreased productivity.
            (2) Heat-related illnesses can arise when high temperatures 
        rise above the body's capacity to dispel heat. Impacts range 
        from comparatively minor problems such as heat cramps to severe 
        afflictions such as organ damage, heat exhaustion, stroke, and 
        death.
            (3) Farmworkers and construction workers suffer the highest 
        incidence of heat illness, but all outdoor and indoor workers 
        employed in excessively hot and humid environments are at 
        significant risk of material impairment of health or functional 
        capacity.
            (4) Asuncion Valdivia was a California farmworker who died 
        of heat stroke in 2004 after picking grapes for 10 straight 
        hours in 105 degree temperatures. Instead of calling an 
        ambulance, his employer told his son to drive Mr. Valdivia 
        home. On his way home, he started foaming at the mouth and 
        died.
            (5) People working in excessive heat suffer diminished 
        mental acuity and physical ability, which increases the risk of 
        accidents. Heat-related injuries and illnesses increase 
        workers' compensation costs and medical expenses.
            (6) The costs of lower labor productivity under rising 
        temperatures is estimated to reach up to $160,000,000,000 in 
        lost wages per year in the United States by 2090 according to 
        the 2018 National Climate Assessment. The drop in productivity 
        decreases income for employers and workers. Global gross 
        domestic product losses from heat are projected to be greater 
        than 20 percent by the end of this century.
            (7) Every year, thousands of workers become sick and some 
        die from exposure to heat. Between 1992 and 2017, 815 United 
        States workers died from heat and almost 70,000 were seriously 
        injured. These numbers are generally understood to be gross 
        undercounts because many heat-related illnesses and deaths are 
        blamed on natural causes.
            (8) Workers have a legal right to a safe workplace. The 
        vast majority of heat-related workplace deaths and illnesses 
        can be prevented by access to water, rest, and shade. Many 
        employers don't provide these simple measures for workers 
        according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
            (9) Employers often retaliate against employees if they 
        report or seek assistance due to problems with heat. Many 
        employees are therefore afraid to report problems and face 
        increased risk of heat-related illnesses or death.
            (10) In the absence of a Federal standard, multiple 
        branches of the United States Armed Forces--including the Army, 
        Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force--have issued heat prevention 
        guidelines, and several States--California, Washington, and 
        Minnesota--have issued heat prevention standards. The National 
        Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) issued 
        criteria for such a standard in 1972, updating it in 1986 and 
        2016.
            (11) Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health 
        Administration to ensure safe and healthful working conditions 
        by setting and enforcing standards pursuant to section 6 of the 
        Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Employees are 
        exposed to grave danger from exposure to excessive heat. The 
        Occupational Safety and Health Administration must develop a 
        standard to protect workers from the significant risks of heat-
        related illness and death.

SEC. 2. OSHA SAFETY STANDARD FOR EXPOSURE TO HEAT AND HOT ENVIRONMENTS.

    (a) Proposed Standard.--Not later than 2 years after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor shall, pursuant to 
section 6(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (29 U.S.C. 655), 
promulgate a proposed standard on prevention of occupational exposure 
to excessive heat.
    (b) Final Standard.--Not later than 42 months after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall promulgate a final standard 
on prevention of occupational exposure to excessive heat that shall--
            (1) provide no less protection than the most protective 
        heat prevention standard adopted by a State plan that has been 
        approved by the Secretary under section 18 of the Occupational 
        Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 667) and, at a 
        minimum, include the requirements described in section 4; and
            (2) be effective and enforceable in the same manner and to 
        the same extent as any standard promulgated under section 6(b) 
        of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 
        655(b)).
    (c) Interim Final Standard.--
            (1) In general.--If the proposed standard described in 
        subsection (a) is not promulgated not later than 2 years after 
        the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Labor shall 
        promulgate an interim final standard on prevention of 
        occupational exposure to excessive heat not later than 2 years 
        and 60 days after such date of enactment--
                    (A) to require covered employers to develop and 
                implement a comprehensive workplace excessive heat 
                prevention plan to protect covered employees from 
                excessive heat that may lead to heat-related injuries 
                and illnesses; and
                    (B) that shall, at a minimum--
                            (i) provide no less protection than the 
                        most protective heat prevention standard 
                        adopted by a State plan that has been approved 
                        by the Secretary under section 18 of the 
                        Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 
                        U.S.C. 667);
                            (ii) establish requirements with respect to 
                        exposure limits that trigger action to protect 
                        covered employees from heat-related illness, 
                        hydration, scheduled and paid rest breaks in 
                        shaded or climate-controlled spaces, an 
                        acclimatization plan, exposure monitoring, and 
                        other measures to prevent exposure to heat 
                        above safe limits, employee and supervisor 
                        training, hazard notification, an emergency 
                        medical response plan, heat-related 
                        surveillance, recordkeeping, and procedures for 
                        compensating piece rate workers for required 
                        heat-related rest breaks;
                            (iii) take into consideration the NIOSH 
                        Criteria for a Recommended Standard: 
                        Occupational Exposure to Heat and Hot 
                        Environments published by the National 
                        Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in 
                        2016; and
                            (iv) include a requirement to protect 
                        employees from discrimination or retaliation 
                        for exercising the rights of the employees 
                        under the interim final standard.
            (2) Applicability of other statutory requirements.--The 
        following shall not apply to the promulgation of the interim 
        final standard under this subsection:
                    (A) The requirements applicable to occupational 
                safety and health standards under section 6(b) of the 
                Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 
                655(b)).
                    (B) The requirements of section 553(c) of chapter 5 
                and chapter 6 of title 5, United States Code, and 
                chapter 55 of title 42, United States Code.
            (3) Effective date of interim standard.--The interim final 
        standard shall--
                    (A) take effect on a date that is not later than 30 
                days after the promulgation of such standard, except 
                that such interim final standard may include a 
                reasonable phase-in period for the implementation of 
                required engineering controls that take effect after 
                such date;
                    (B) be enforced in the same manner and to the same 
                extent as any standard promulgated under section 6(b) 
                of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 
                U.S.C. 655(b)); and
                    (C) be in effect until the final standard described 
                in subsection (b) becomes effective and enforceable.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Covered employee.--The term ``covered employee'' 
        includes an individual employed by a covered employer.
            (2) Covered employer.--The term ``covered employer''--
                    (A) means an employer that employs an individual to 
                work at a covered workplace; and
                    (B) includes a contractor, subcontractor, a 
                temporary service firm, or an employee leasing entity.
            (3) Covered workplace.--The term ``covered workplace'' 
        includes a workplace with occupational exposure to excessive 
        heat.
            (4) Employer.--The term ``employer'' has the meaning given 
        the term in section 3 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 
        of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 652).
            (5) Excessive heat.--The term ``excessive heat'' includes 
        outdoor or indoor exposure to heat at levels that exceed the 
        capacities of the body to maintain normal body functions and 
        may cause heat-related injury, illness, or fatality (including 
        heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat syncope, heat cramps, or 
        heat rashes).
            (6) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of Labor.

SEC. 4. REQUIREMENTS FOR FINAL STANDARD ON PREVENTION OF OCCUPATIONAL 
              EXPOSURE TO EXCESSIVE HEAT.

    (a) In General.--The final standard promulgated under section 2(b) 
shall, at a minimum--
            (1) take into consideration the NIOSH Criteria for a 
        Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Heat and Hot 
        Environments published by the National Institute for 
        Occupational Safety and Health in 2016;
            (2) establish requirements with respect to exposure limits 
        that trigger action to protect covered employees from heat-
        related illness, hydration, scheduled and paid rest breaks in 
        shaded or climate-controlled spaces, an acclimatization plan, 
        exposure monitoring, and other measures to prevent exposure to 
        heat above safe limits, employee and supervisor training, 
        hazard notification, medical monitoring, an emergency medical 
        response plan, heat-related surveillance recordkeeping, 
        procedures for compensating piece rate workers for required 
        heat-related rest breaks, and a heat prevention plan; and
            (3) include the requirements described in subsection (b).
    (b) Requirements.--The final standard promulgated under section 
2(b) shall include the following:
            (1) Heat illness prevention plans.--
                    (A) In general.--A covered employer shall develop, 
                implement, and maintain an effective, written excessive 
                heat illness prevention plan for covered employees, 
                which shall--
                            (i) be developed and implemented with the 
                        meaningful participation of covered employees 
                        and, where applicable, employee representatives 
                        and collective bargaining representatives, for 
                        all aspects of the plan;
                            (ii) be tailored and specific to hazards in 
                        the covered workplace;
                            (iii) be in writing, in English and in the 
                        language understood by a majority of the 
                        employees, if such language is not English; and
                            (iv) made available, upon request, to such 
                        employees, the employee representatives for 
                        such employees, and the Secretary.
                    (B) Plan content.--Each plan shall include 
                procedures and methods for the following:
                            (i) Initial and regular monitoring of 
                        employee exposure to determine whether 
                        employees are exposed to excessive heat.
                            (ii) Provision of water, paid rest breaks, 
                        and access to shade or cool-down areas.
                            (iii) Emergency response.
                            (iv) Acclimatization.
                            (v) Hazard prevention, including 
                        engineering controls, administrative controls, 
                        or personal protective equipment to correct, in 
                        a timely manner, applying industrial hygiene 
                        principles of the hierarchy of controls, 
                        including, as appropriate--
                                    (I) engineering controls that may 
                                include isolation of hot processes, 
                                isolation of employees from sources of 
                                heat, local exhaust ventilation, 
                                shielding from a radiant heat source, 
                                and insulation of hot surfaces, the 
                                provision of air conditioning, cooling 
                                fans, cooling mist fans, evaporative 
                                coolers, and natural ventilation;
                                    (II) administrative controls that 
                                limit exposure to a hazard by 
                                adjustment of work procedures or work 
                                schedules, which may include 
                                acclimatizing employees, rotating 
                                employees, scheduling work earlier or 
                                later in the day, using work-rest 
                                schedules, reducing work intensity or 
                                speed, changing required work clothing, 
                                and using relief workers; and
                                    (III) personal protective equipment 
                                which may include water-cooled 
                                garments, air-cooled garments, 
                                reflective clothing, and cooling vests.
                            (vi) Coordination of risk assessment 
                        efforts, plan development, and implementation 
                        of the plan with other employers who have 
                        employees who work at the covered workplace.
                            (vii) Compensating piece rate workers for 
                        required heat-related rest breaks.
            (2) Training and education.--
                    (A) Employee training.--A covered employer shall 
                provide annual training and education to covered 
                employees who may be exposed to high heat levels, which 
                shall cover the following topics:
                            (i) Identified heat illness risk factors.
                            (ii) Personal factors that may increase 
                        susceptibility to heat-related illness.
                            (iii) Signs and symptoms of heat-related 
                        illness.
                            (iv) Different types of heat illness.
                            (v) The importance of acclimatization and 
                        consumption of liquids.
                            (vi) Engineering control measures.
                            (vii) Administrative control measures.
                            (viii) The importance of reporting heat-
                        related symptoms being experienced by the 
                        employee or another employee.
                            (ix) Recordkeeping requirements and 
                        reporting procedures.
                            (x) Emergency response procedures.
                            (xi) Employee rights.
                    (B) Supervisor training.--In addition to the 
                training and education required in subparagraph (A), 
                training and education shall be provided to covered 
                employees who are supervisors that shall cover the 
                following topics:
                            (i) The procedures a supervisor is required 
                        to follow under this Act.
                            (ii) How to recognize high-risk situations, 
                        including how to monitor weather reports and 
                        weather advisories, and not assigning an 
                        employee to situations that predictably 
                        compromise the safety of the employee.
                            (iii) The procedures to follow when an 
                        employee exhibits signs or reports symptoms 
                        consistent with possible heat illness, 
                        including emergency response procedures.
                    (C) General training requirements.--The education 
                and training provided under this paragraph to covered 
                employees shall meet the following:
                            (i) In the case of such an employee whose 
                        job circumstances have changed, within a 
                        reasonable timeframe after such change of job 
                        circumstances, education and training shall be 
                        provided that shall be--
                                    (I) in addition to the education 
                                and training provided under 
                                subparagraph (A) and, if applicable to 
                                such employee, subparagraph (B); and
                                    (II) applicable to such change of 
                                job circumstances.
                            (ii) Applicable education and training 
                        shall be provided for each new covered employee 
                        prior to the employee's job assignment.
                            (iii) The education and training shall 
                        provide such employees opportunities to ask 
                        questions, give feedback, and request 
                        additional instruction, clarification, or other 
                        follow-up.
                            (iv) The education and training shall be 
                        provided in-person and by an individual with 
                        knowledge of heat illness prevention and of the 
                        plan of the employer under this section.
                            (v) The education and training shall be 
                        appropriate in content and vocabulary to the 
                        language, educational level, and literacy of 
                        such covered employees.
            (3) Recordkeeping.--Each covered employer shall--
                    (A) maintain at all times--
                            (i) records related to each plan of the 
                        employer, including heat illness risk and 
                        hazard assessments, and identification, 
                        evaluation, correction, and training 
                        procedures;
                            (ii) data on all heat-related illnesses and 
                        deaths; and
                            (iii) data on environmental and 
                        physiological measurements related to heat; and
                    (B) make such records and data available, upon 
                request, to covered employees and their representatives 
                for examination and copying in accordance with section 
                1910.1020 of title 29, Code of Federal Regulations (as 
                such section is in effect on the date of enactment of 
                this Act).
            (4) Whistleblower protections.--
                    (A) Policy.--Each covered employer shall adopt a 
                policy prohibiting any person (including an agent of 
                the employer) from discriminating or retaliating 
                against any employee for--
                            (i) exercising the rights of the employee 
                        under this Act; or
                            (ii) reporting violations of the standard 
                        to any local, State, or Federal government.
                    (B) Prohibition.--No covered employer shall 
                discriminate or retaliate against any employee for--
                            (i) reporting a heat-illness-related 
                        concern to, or seeking assistance or 
                        intervention with respect to heat-related 
                        health symptoms from, the employer, local 
                        emergency services, or a local, State, or 
                        Federal government; or
                            (ii) exercising any other rights of the 
                        employee under this Act.
                    (C) Enforcement.--This paragraph shall be enforced 
                in the same manner and to the same extent as any 
                standard promulgated under section 6(b) of the 
                Occupational Safety and Health Act (29 U.S.C. 655(b)).
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