As summer temperatures start to climb employers are encouraged to review and comply with Cal/OSHA heat illness standards for all outdoor places of employment. Heat illness is defined under California law as, “a serious medical condition resulting from the body’s inability to cope with a particular heat load, and includes heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat syncope and heat stroke.”
Heat Illness Prevention Procedures:
Agricultural employers are specifically required to comply with high-heat procedures by taking the following four steps:
- Train all employees and supervisors about heat illness prevention.
- Provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least 1 quart per hour, 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. Workers should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.
- Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard.
Heat Illness Prevention Plan (HIPP)
California employers are also required to develop and implement effective procedures for complying with the requirements of California Code of Regulations Title 8 Section 3395 to develop and maintain a HIPP. An employer’s HIPP must be in writing and include the following:
- Procedures for providing sufficient water
- Procedures for providing access to shade
- High-heat procedures
- Emergency response procedures
- Acclimatization methods and procedures
The HIPP must be provided in English and in the language understood by the majority of employees. The HIPP must be available to employees at the worksite, and to representatives of Cal/OSHA upon request. An employer’s HIPP may be integrated into an existing Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP).