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California Law Heats up – Indoors!

The California Division of Occupational Safety & Health (CAL/OSHA) exists to protect and improve the health & safety of workers across companies, no matter the industry.   As you should already know if you run a business, violating CAL/OSHA standards can create expensive problems for your business. 

If your business involves your employees working outside for any amount of time, CAL/OSHA has required Employers to have rules in place to ensure that your employees are protected.  Since approximately 2006, Employers have been required to have a Heat Illness Prevention Plan in place (which may be part of your Illness & Injury Prevention Plan – required for all companies).   Whether it be providing shade, ensuring fresh and suitably cool water is available free of charge or cool down periods, as just some examples, Employers need to know these rules, especially as summer is soon approaching.

But did you know that since 2016, while California passed legislation for indoor workers, CAL/OSHA has only finally drafted clear standards and rules to ensure the temperatures indoors also meets certain standards. These standards would apply across all industries but specifically hit industries such as restaurants (think of those hot kitchens) or warehouses just as examples.  Why? As global warming increases the temperatures, there are more reported cases of heat illness indoors.  We are seeing companies on their own, implement air conditioning or cooling stations.

Still, at a meeting last week CAL/OSHA is still seeing pushback from the Department of Finance, due to costs of cooling indoor facilities to the state, think correcotional facilities or other indoor state run facilities. So while CAL/OSHA is finally ready to move forward, it is unclear when these regulations will actually be voted on and move forward toward enforcement.  But do not wait.  We are seeing companies, on their own, implement air conditioning or cooling stations indoors as well.  Your workers need to be protected and there is significant liability for you, the employer, for not doing so.

If you run a business and are unclear how to protect your workers, or you do not know, or have, an Illness & Injury Prevention Plan, 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.


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