Washington’s long-awaited permanent outdoor heat exposure rules will take effect July 17.

The state Department of Labor and Industries finalized permanent rules in late June, replacing a series of emergency regulations aimed at protecting workers from extreme heat. They will remain in effect year-round.

The rules mandate that employers provide extra rest breaks, water and acclimatization periods for employees when temperatures reach certain levels.

Among the requirements: 

—Mandate 10-minute rest breaks every two hours when temperatures reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and 15-minute breaks every hour when temperatures reach triple digits.

—Train all employees and supervisors on heat illness and injury prevention.

—Provide 14 days of close monitoring during periods of acclimatization for new employees or for all employees during a heat wave.

For more information, consult this Labor and Industries fact sheet online at: https://bit.ly/wa-outdoor-heat-rule.

For more information about the rulemaking process, visit this Labor and Industries web page: https://lni.wa.gov/safety-health/safety-rules/rulemaking-stakeholder-information/ambient-heat-exposure-rulemaking.

by Ross Courtney