Reminder: New Heat Illness Amendments Effective Today
New heat illness regulations are effective May 1, 2015. The Office of Administrative Law approved changes to California’s heat illness prevention regulations and granted the Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board’s request for an accelerated effective date of May 1, in time for this year’s growing season and warmer summer weather.
The changes include several significant provisions:
- Access to shade must be provided when temperatures exceed 80 degrees, instead of the current standard of 85 degrees;
- A change to what is considered “potable water” that must be made available to employees;
- Monitoring of employees taking a “preventative cool-down rest;” and
- Changes to high heat procedures.
Cal/OSHA issued guidance on the new requirements. The chart can be downloaded free of charge from HRCalifornia and from Cal/OSHA’s heat illness information page. Cal/OSHA also updated this Heat Illness Prevention Enforcement Q&A and has started to revise educational materials on its website.