ABC: Flexibility Is Imperative for Effective Heat Safety Protections in Construction

Washington, July 2—Associated Builders and Contractors today responded to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings proposed rule.

“ABC continues to believe employers should equip their employees and leadership teams to develop their own safety plans, unique to their jobsites, and we strongly encourage review of all applicable OSHA rules and guidelines,” said Greg Sizemore, ABC vice president of health, safety, environment and workforce development. “We also provide tools to employers so that they can equip and empower supervisors to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat illness as well as provide necessary rest, water and shade that is dependent on local conditions. Our members work to ensure that jobsites are safe and implement the most appropriate practices for working in extreme heat conditions that focus on the individual worker, based on CDC recommendations.

“However, those protections must be flexible in response to the fluid nature of the construction environment, and unfortunately some of the unworkable provisions in the proposed rule could weaken contractor efforts to prevent heat stress for workers,” said Sizemore.

ABC will continue to review and analyze the more than 1,000 pages of the proposed rule.

“Employers play a key role in providing education on heat illness prevention, and ABC provides its members with a wide range of guidance and resources to ensure they understand the appropriate measures to protect employees during harsh weather conditions,” said Sizemore. “For example, planning for severe weather conditions is an integral part of the pre-planning stages of a construction project, as evidenced in ABC’s Safety Performance Report, an annual study on health and safety measures that help save lives and prevent injury and illness.”

In December 2023, ABC submitted comments as a steering committee member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition and the Coalition for Workplace Safety in response to OSHA’s potential standard for Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings following its review of the Small Business Advocacy Review Panel materials and the SBAR Panel’s final report.

About ABC

Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association established in 1950 that represents more than 23,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 67 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at