With temperatures reaching 120 degrees in parts of California over the weekend and throughout this week, Cal/OSHA is reminding employers to be diligent in protecting their workers during the current and future heat waves.
In addition to the basic steps outlined by California's heat regulation for employers with outdoor workers, heat above 95 degrees Fahrenheit requires additional precautions. Among other measures, it is crucial that workers are actively monitored for early signs of heat illness. This helps ensure sick employees receive treatment immediately and that the symptoms do not develop into serious illness or death.
According to the notice, California's heat regulation requires employers to protect outdoor workers by taking these basic steps:
- Train all employees and supervisors about heat illness prevention.
- Provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least 1 quart, or four 8-ounce glasses, of water per hour, and encourage them to do so.
- Provide access to shade and encourage employees to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least 5 minutes. They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.
- Ensure that emergency medical services can and will be summoned when an employee feels sick or exhibits signs of heat illness, such as nausea, exhaustion or mental confusion.
- Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard.
For more information, read the “Cal/OSHA Issues Extreme Heat Advisory” press release. Western Growers has trained safety specialists who can also assist members with heat illness training and preparation. For information, please contact Greg Nelson, Vice President of Western Growers Insurance Services, at (949) 885-2287.
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