Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Efforts Heat Up In California
 June 18, 2012

Does your company have employees who work outdoors? Temperatures are rising and Cal/OSHA has begun random visits to ensure employers have implemented effective heat illness prevention programs. California employers are required to take these four steps:

Supply Drinking Water: Employers must provide enough fresh potable water so that each employee can drink at least one quart per hour. Water must be fresh, pure and suitably cool.

Provide Shade: Employers must provide shade which allows workers to take a cool-down rest for at least five minutes. Shade must be open to the air or ventilated/ cooled, and must be large enough to comfortably accommodate at least 25% of the employees on the shift at any one time.

Deliver Training: All out door employees and supervisors must receive heat illness prevention training. Topics to be covered include:

  • Environmental and personal risk factors for heat illness
  • Procedures for complying with the heat illness prevention standard
  • Importance of frequent water consumption – in lieu of soda, alcohol and coffee.
  • Importance of breaks in the shade
  • Procedures for acclimation
  • Recognizing signs and symptoms of heat illness. Responding to heat illness symptoms
  • How to contact emergency services
  • Procedures for providing worksite directions to emergency responders
Plan Appropriately: Employers of outdoor workers must develop formal procedures for complying with the heat illness standard in accordance with General Industry Safety Orders 3395. Contact your CompWest Loss Control consultant if you need assistance in this area.

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