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Does OSHA Mandate Water Breaks?

OSHA Water

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have specific regulations that mandate water breaks for employees. However, OSHA does require employers to provide a workplace that is free from recognized hazards and that ensures employees’ health and safety.

Guidelines on osha.gov state, “Employers should provide cool water for workers to drink. Proper hydration is essential to prevent heat-related illness. For those working two hours or more, also provide access to additional fluids that contain electrolytes.”

The ambiguous wording of expressions such as “shall provide,” “access,” and “readily available” may lead OSHA to issue citations in case employees are not granted sufficient time or opportunities to hydrate. Additionally, labor laws governing the frequency and duration of breaks are in place at the federal, state, and local levels. Employers should ensure they comply with all applicable regulations.

If you have any questions or need additional information on this issue, please let us know.

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