Cal/OSHA Issues Statewide High Heat Advisory as Temperatures Rise

Jun 1 2016 - Heat Illness - Gail Cecchettini Whaley

High Heat Duty to Protect Outdoor Workers

High heat warnings stretch across California.

Extreme high temperatures are expected to hit California this week, and employers with outdoor workers are reminded to comply with California’s stringent heat illness standard.

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, issued a high heat advisory urging employers to protect their outdoor workers. The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings for multiple areas throughout the state that will last through Sunday. Temperatures well over 100 degrees are predicted in many locations, including the greater San Diego area and the Inland Empire east of Los Angeles.

In the Central Valley and areas of Northern California, 100+ degree weather is also expected.

“Employers need to be aware of the rules that protect workers from heat illness,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “Water, rest, shade and increased vigilance are absolutely essential in high heat conditions.”

California’s heat regulation requires all employers with outdoor workers to protect them by taking these basic steps:

  • Train all employees and supervisors about heat illness prevention, including the signs and symptoms of heat illness.
  • Provide ready access to plenty of free, cool, fresh water.
  • Provide access to shade.
  • Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard.

Cal/OSHA conducts inspections of outdoor worksites in industries such as agriculture, construction, landscaping and others throughout the heat season.

Cal/OSHA also partners with various employer and worker organizations to provide consultation, outreach and training on heat illness prevention.

Don’t forget that new heat illness regulations became effective last year (May 2015) which made significant changes to the heat illness standard.

Gail Cecchettini Whaley, CalChamber Employment Law Counsel/Content

HRCalifornia provides information to members on Heat Illness, including a sample Heat Illness Prevention Plan. Not a member? See how CalChamber can help you.

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