Washington workplace safety officials have proposed permanent updates to outdoor heat exposure regulations.

In recent years, states and the federal government have passed temporary rule changes to protect workers from the dangers of heat waves that seem to be more common. 

Earlier this spring, Washington regulators proposed permanent new rules that would require employers to do the following:

—Provide shade and adequate quantities of cool water when temperatures exceed 80 degrees.

—Provide a 10-minute cool-down rest period every two hours when temperatures each 90 degrees or higher.

—Provide a 15-minute rest every hour when temperatures hit triple digits.

The Washington State Tree Fruit Association encourages growers to submit public comments regarding how the proposed changes would affect their operations.

For more information about the proposed rule and how to submit public comments via mail, email, in person or by video conference, go to this fact sheet: bit.ly/wa-proposed-heat-rule.

by Ross Courtney