Cal/OSHA Issues Guidance to Employers on How to Protect Outdoor Workers From Heat Illness

In response to the excessive heat warnings throughout California, Cal/OSHA has issued notices to all California employers reminding them of their legal obligation to protect outdoor workers from heat illness. Under California law, employers must take steps to protect outdoor workers from heat illness by providing water, rest, shade, and appropriate training.

Cal/OSHA’s heat illness prevention standard applies to all outdoor worksites and provides that employers must supply outdoor workers with fresh water, access to shade upon request by a worker and when temperatures reach 80 degrees, and regular breaks along with cool-down rest breaks. Employers must also maintain a written prevention plan including training about the signs of heat illness and procedures for how to respond to an emergency.

Cal/OSHA’s standard also requires employers in certain industries – agriculture, construction, landscaping, oil and gas extraction and transportation of agricultural products, construction materials or other heavy materials – to implement high-heat procedures when the temperature equals or exceeds 95 degrees. These procedures require that employees are regularly observed for signs of heat illness and ensure that effective communication is maintained between work site employees and supervisors.

As temperatures continue to rise and regularly reach excessive levels, employer obligations to ensure a safe work environment for employees become increasingly important. To learn more about Cal/OSHA’s heat illness prevention standard and California labor law requirements, contact the Employer Lawyers at Chauvel & Glatt.

This material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute legal advice.  For information on your particular circumstances, please contact  Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500 for legal assistance near you. (Photo Credit depositphoto.com.)

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