WSR 05-24-018




[ Filed November 29, 2005, 11:18 a.m. ]

     Subject of Possible Rule Making: Physical health hazards (temperature extremes), chapter 296-62 WAC, General occupational health standards.

     Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 49.17.010, 49.17.040, 49.17.050, 49.17.060.

     Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: WISHA is proposing to rewrite and clarify requirements relating to temperature extremes. WISHA plans to update the requirements for heat stress. There have been two heat stress fatalities during the past two summer seasons that may have been prevented with rules that are more protective of workers. The department is currently researching workers compensation claims where temperature extremes may have been a factor. This rule making would help reduce the number of serious injuries and fatalities by increasing worker protection from temperature extremes. This proposal will create chapter 296-820 WAC, Physical health hazards, a new chapter. WISHA plans to move all of the physical health hazard requirements from chapter 296-62 WAC, General occupational health hazards, to this new chapter.

     Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: No other state or federal agencies are known to regulate exposure to workplace physical health hazards [in] Washington state.

     Process for Developing New Rule: The department must adopt rules identical to or at-least-as-effective-as OSHA rules as required by the OSHA/WISHA state plan agreement. Parties interested in the formulation of these rules for proposal may contact the individual listed below. The public may also participate by commenting after amendments are proposed by providing written comments or giving oral testimony during the public hearing process.

     Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Jamie Scibelli, Project Manager, WISHA Services Division, P.O. Box 44620, Olympia, WA 98504-4620, (360) 902-4568, fax (360) 902-5529, e-mail

November 29, 2005

Gary Weeks