June 6, 2019

Protect Outdoor Workers from Heat Illnesses

As temperatures continue to rise throughout California, Cal/OSHA is reminding all employers to protect their outdoor workers from heat related illnesses. Heat advisories have been issued for Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare counties with weather forecasts of high heat over the next week.

Additionally, Cal/OSHA investigators will conduct high heat inspections at outdoor work facilities to ensure employers’ compliance with California’s heat illness prevention regulation and other workplace safety and health requirements.

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 1 quart per hour, and encourage workers to do so.
  • Shade – Provide shade when workers request it and when temperatures exceed 80 degrees. Encourage workers to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least five minutes. They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.

In the event a worker is experiencing overheating, Cal/OSHA advises them to take a preventative cool-down rest in the shade until all symptoms have passed.

Details on heat illness preventions requirements and training materials are available online on Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention web page.