On July 12 the Department of Industrial Relation issued a news release notifying employers that Cal/OSHA will be conducting targeted inspections during the upcoming heat wave. High temperatures in California are expected to occur throughout the next two weeks, increasing the risk for workers to suffer heat illness.
Cal/OSHA inspections will focus on construction, agriculture, landscaping, and warehouse industries to ensure employers are complying with the law.
In indoor workplaces, employers must correct unsafe conditions for workers created by heat as part of their Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP).
Employers with outdoor workers in all industries must encourage workers to understand and exercise their rights related to heat illness prevention, such as taking a cool-down rest when necessary.
Details on heat illness prevention requirements and training materials are available online on Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention web page and the 99calor.org informational website. A Heat Illness Prevention online tool is also available on Cal/OSHA’s website.
Employers with outdoor workers must take the following steps to prevent heat illness:
- Plan – Develop and implement an effective written heat illness prevention plan that includes emergency response procedures.
- Training – Train all employees and supervisors on heat illness prevention.
- Water – Provide drinking water that is fresh, pure, suitably cool and free of charge so that each worker can drink at least 1 quart per hour and encourage workers to do so.
- Rest – Encourage workers to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least five minutes when they feel the need to do so to protect themselves from overheating. Workers should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.
- Shade – Provide proper shade when temperatures exceed 80 degrees. Workers have the right to request and be provided shade to cool off at any time.
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