California Employers Warned about High Heat as Temperatures Soar

September 11, 2015

Cal/OSHA is warning all employers throughout the entire state to consider protecting their outdoor workers from heat illness.

The National Weather Service has issued high heat advisories and excessive heat warnings for portions of Northern and Southern California. The increasing high pressure will result in very dry conditions with temperatures climbing to over 100 degrees inland.

The weather service issues heat advisories and excessive heat warnings when weather can cause heat illness, which can be life threatening.

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

  • Train all employees and supervisors about heat illness prevention;
  • Provide at least 1 quart, or four 8-ounce glasses, of fresh water per hour for employees to drink and encourage them to do so;
  • Provide access to shade and encourage employees to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least five minutes.
  • Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard.

“Workers can die when temperatures are elevated,” Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum said in a statement.

When temperatures reach 95 degrees, special “high heat” procedures are also required:

  • Observing workers for signs and symptoms of heat illness;
  • Providing close supervision of workers in their first 14 days of employment to ensure acclimatization;
  • Having effective communication systems in place to be able to call for emergency assistance if necessary.

Cal/OSHA has said it will inspect outdoor worksites in industries such as agriculture, construction, landscaping, and others throughout the heat season.

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