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Protect Your Employees From the Heat

Published Monday, July 30, 2018
by CEA's HR Advisors


Cal/OSHA urges all employers with outdoor workers to protect their employees by ensuring they are properly trained on how to prevent heat illness. California has had several excessive heat warnings issued, throughout the State, by the National Weather Service in the last few weeks.

“Supervisors and outdoor workers must be trained on how to recognize and respond to the signs and symptoms of heat illness,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “Cal/OSHA continues our outreach, consultation and training for workers and employers to ensure that workers are protected from the heat.”

California’s heat illness prevention regulation requires employers with outdoor workers to take the following four steps to prevent heat illness:

1. Plan. Develop and implement an effective written heat illness prevention plan that includes emergency response procedures.
2. Training. Train all employees and supervisors on heat illness prevention.
3. 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.
4. Shade. Provide shade when workers request it or when temperatures exceed 80 degrees. Encourage workers to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least five minutes. They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.

Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention program includes enforcement of heat regulations as well as multilingual outreach and training programs for California’s employers and workers. You can find some great etools here.

In addition to the other requirements outlined by California’s heat illness prevention regulation, it is crucial that supervisors are effectively trained on emergency procedures in case a worker does get sick. This helps ensure sick employees receive treatment immediately and that the symptoms do not develop into a serious illness or death.

Employers and workers who have questions or need assistance with workplace health and safety programs can call Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch at 800-963-9424.

Source: State of California Department of Industrial Relations, News Release 2018-60, July 23, 2018.


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