Today, Western Growers staff, California Chamber of Commerce and other members of the Heat Illness Prevention Coalition attended a public meeting of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board in San Diego related to the agency’s proposed Heat Illness Prevention regulation.
Members of the Coalition questioned the need for changes to the existing standard in the absence of data or justification from Cal/OSHA that specific provisions in the existing standard are inadequate to protect outdoor workers from heat illness. Testimony from employers groups and labor advocates agreed that Cal/OSHA enforcement needs to improve to address those operators who fail to comply with the existing heat illness prevention standard. But employer representatives testified that it's inappropriate to raise the standard when compliance is no better than 75-80 percent.
Employer representatives also pointed out how specific provisions of the proposed regulation are confusing as drafted and impractical to implement, especially for agriculture. Several members of the Coalition live Tweeted during the meeting under #heatillnessmeeting.
In addition, Joel Sherman from Grimmway Farms testified in opposition to the proposed changes to the heat illness prevention standard and that no necessity for the changes has been demonstrated. Employers want clear language on how to comply.
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