Workforce Development and OSHA Heat Standard

Congress remains out of town and will not return until after Labor Day. However, that does not mean that legislation cannot be introduced. There is typically what is known as a “pro forma” business day each week in August where bills may be introduced, despite the fact that Members are not in Washington. In fact, bipartisan legislation has been drafted and will likely be introduced later this month that would address worker shortages in the forestry and lumber sectors.
Specifically, the bill would authorize a grant program to:

  • Establish education programs by states, non-profits, and colleges through grants of $500,000-$2,000,000.
  • Create a pool of talented, trained, and qualified applicants to fill forestry and lumber industry job openings. Programs would be tailored to build skills ranging from logging and forest management to sawmilling.
  • Partner with programs that have proven to help students achieve forestry industry jobs and programs that engage with their local communities.

More details will be available once this bill is unveiled later this month.

Heat Standard
Today, the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy has scheduled a Small Business Labor Safety Roundtable to discuss the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) upcoming Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) panel on a possible “Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings” rule. As we noted earlier this summer, OSHA’s possible rule would apply to employers whose employees are exposed to hazardous heat in the workplace and could cover outdoor and indoor work in General Industry, Construction, Maritime, and Agriculture sectors. The roundtable is being convened to hear from businesses about the effect that a heat standard would have on their operations. ABMA is monitoring action on this rulemaking closely and will report regularly on developments.