California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board has posted notice of its proposed Heat Illness Prevention in Indoor Places of Employment rule. The 2016 approval of SB 1167 initiated a series of meetings by Cal/OSHA to develop a proposed regulation for minimizing heat-related illness and injury in indoor places of employment. State law requires the adoption of safety and health standards that are at least as effective as federal OSHA standards.
If approved (subject to specific exceptions) the proposed rule will apply to all indoor places of employment that meet the following conditions:
- The temperature equals or exceeds 87° Fahrenheit when employees are present; or
- The heat index equals or exceeds 87° Fahrenheit when employees are present; or
- Employees wear clothing that restricts heat removal and the temperature equals or exceeds 82° Fahrenheit; or
- Employees work in a high radiant heat area and the temperature equals or exceeds 82° Fahrenheit.
Key provisions of the proposed rule include:
- Provisions for access to drinking water and cool-down areas,
- Assessment and control measure requirements
- Emergency response procedures
- Close observation during acclimatization
- Training; and
- A Heat Illness Prevention Plan (HIPP).
“Indoor” workplace is defined as “a space that is under a ceiling or overhead covering that restricts airflow and is enclosed along its entire perimeter by walls, doors, windows, dividers, or other physical barriers that restrict airflow, whether open or closed.” Indoor spaces that are used exclusively as a source of shade under the outdoor heat illness regulation (section 3395(d)) are not deemed to be an “indoor” workplace under the proposed rule.
Rulemaking documents associated with the proposal:
A public hearing on the proposal will be held May 18, 2023 in San Diego.i Written comments may be submitted ahead of the May 18th hearing date.ii
i The public hearing begins at 10:00 a.m. on May 18, 2023 in Room 310 of the County Administration Center, 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego, California 92101. Video-conference, teleconference and live video streaming are also available.
ii Address written comments to Sarah Money, Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, 2520 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 350, Sacramento, CA 95833.