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April 17, 2018

Cal/OSHA Reminds Employers to Protect Their Outdoor Workers during Periods of Extreme Heat

With spring in full swing and summer only a few months away, Cal/OSHA is reminding employers to take the necessary steps to ensure their employees are protected during heat waves. Extreme heat is the number one weather-related killer in the country, so preventing heat-related illnesses is crucial.

Here are some recommendations for employers:

  • Train all employees and supervisors on heat illness prevention.
  • Provide enough water so that each employee can drink at least four 8-ounce glasses of water per hour, and encourage them to do so.
  • Provide access to shade when temperatures exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit or upon request. Encourage employees to take a cool‐down rest in the shade for at least 5 minutes. Workers should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.
  •  Closely observe all employees during a heat wave and any employee newly assigned to a high heat area. For those employees who are not accustomed to the high temperatures, allow for lighter work, frequent breaks or shorter hours so they can adapt to the new conditions.
  • Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard and Injury and Illness Prevention Standard

To stay up-to-date on the standard, you can refer to the Cal/OSHA guidance on the new requirements and the Heat Illness Prevention Enforcement Q&A. For more information, you can also visit Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention page.