August 26, 2022

Cal/OSHA Steps Up Enforcement of Indoor Heat Hazards

Even though Cal/OSHA has yet to approve its proposed standards on Heat Illness Prevention in Indoor Places of Employment (under review since 2017) it is nonetheless stepping up enforcement efforts to identify and evaluate indoor heat-related workplace hazards, and correct unsafe or unhealthy conditions based on the severity of the hazards.[i]

When it comes to assessing indoor heat hazards, employers should remain vigilant in monitoring air temperature, humidity levels, air circulation and heat sources inherent in the work environment such as machinery or ventilation exhaust.

With increased enforcement efforts on the horizon, employers should maintain and/or update existing Injury and Illness Prevention Program documents to include the following:

  • Identification of the person or persons with authority and responsibility for implementing the Program.
  • A system for ensuring that employees comply with safe and healthy work practices (e.g., recognition of employees who follow safe and healthful work practices, training and retraining programs, disciplinary actions, or any other such means that ensures employee compliance with safe and healthful work practices).
  • A system for communicating with employees in a form readily understandable by all affected employees that encourages employees to report hazards at the worksite without fear of reprimand or retaliation (e.g., meetings, training programs, posting, written communications, anonymous notification options).

[i] Title 8 Cal. Code Regs., Section 3202 requires all employers to establish, implement and maintain an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program with a general duty to develop a system for ensuring safe and healthy work practices.