If you checked your weather app lately (or walked outside), you may have noticed the scorching temperatures this week. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) warns California employers to protect outdoor workers from heat illness. Outdoor workplaces include agriculture, construction, road work, landscaping, storage yards and other operations.
- Train workers on how to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat illness.
- Allow new employees to acclimate to hot conditions, because new employees are more likely to develop heat illness.
- Provide shade when temperatures are higher than 80 degrees.
- Provide fresh, pure, cool water to employees.
- Develop emergency response procedures and train workers on your policies and procedures.
- Implement high-heat procedures when the temperatures are 95 degrees or hotter.
“California rules are very clear on how employers must protect their workers from heat illness,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum, in a statement. “Our goal is to prevent deaths and serious illnesses and injuries caused by exposure to heat.”
Cal/OSHA provides online information on heat illness prevention requirements and training materials on its Heat Illness Prevention and Water, Rest, Shade campaign websites. The agency also offers a Heat Illness Prevention e-tool with real world examples of heat illness and best practices for an effective heat illness prevention plan.
CalChamber members can use the Heat Illness Prevention Plan – Outdoor Employees to develop your company’s plan and procedures for complying with Cal/OSHA regulations on heat illness for outdoor workers. The form is also available in Spanish.
Katie Culliton, Editor