August 17, 2023

Cal/OSHA Reminds Employers to Protect Workers from Heat Illness

Cal/OSHA is reminding all employers to protect workers from heat illness as high temperatures are forecast throughout the state. The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings for some areas during the coming days.

Some of the highest temperatures include:

In addition to responding to complaints and reports of injuries and illnesses, Cal/OSHA will be performing proactive high heat inspections. This includes strategically visiting worksites where workers are the most exposed to serious heat illness including in agriculture.

Employers with outdoor workers in all industries must encourage workers to understand and exercise their rights related to heat illness prevention, such as taking a cool-down rest when necessary.

In indoor workplaces, employers must correct unsafe conditions for workers created by heat as part of their Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP).

Details on heat illness prevention requirements and training materials are available online on Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention web page and the informational website. A Heat Illness Prevention online tool is also available on Cal/OSHA’s website.

Employers with outdoor workers must take the following steps to prevent heat illness:

  • Plan – Develop and implement an effective written heat illness prevention plan that includes emergency response procedures.
  • Training – Train all employees and supervisors on heat illness prevention.
  • Water – Provide drinking water that is fresh, pure, suitably cool and free of charge so that each worker can drink at least 32 ounces per hour, and encourage workers to do so.
  • Rest – Encourage workers to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least five minutes when they feel the need to do so to protect themselves from overheating. Workers should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.
  • Shade – Provide proper shade when temperatures exceed 80 degrees. Workers have the right to request and be provided shade to cool off at any time.