July 3, 2024

Protecting Outdoor Workers During Heat Waves

With summer temperatures rising in many areas of California and Arizona, it is imperative to keep outdoor workers safe from heat illness. Each year, there are reports of workers being hospitalized, with some becoming fatalities as a result of heat illness-related incidents.

The steps required to prevent heat illness at the work site include:

Plan. A written Heat Illness Prevention Program must be developed and implemented in order to protect outdoor workers during hot periods. This program will need to include high-heat procedures when temperatures are considered critical at 95 degrees Fahrenheit and above.

Training. Supervisors and their employees need to be trained on heat illness prevention. Training should include recognizing signs and symptoms of heat illness, knowing the water and shade requirements, acclimating to high-heat temperatures, and having personnel trained in first aid/CPR for responding to workplace emergencies.

Water. Access to fresh water in the amount of at least one quart (32 ounces) per hour of work for each employee must be available.

Rest. Whenever workers feel the need to prevent themselves from overheating, a preventive cool-down break period under shade cover is allowed.

Shade. Employers must provide shade coverings when temperature are 80 degrees Fahrenheit and above. Shade coverings and water must be placed as close to the work site as possible.

On July 17, from 11 a.m. -12 p.m. PT, Western Growers Legal is hosting a webinar regarding the new indoor Cal/OSHA indoor heat standards. During the session, David Hornung, Cal/OSHA Heat and Agriculture Program Coordinator, will explain the new rule and its impact on business operations.  Click here to register.

Western Growers Insurance Services is a full-service insurance brokerage offering a suite of insurance and tailored risk management solutions to agribusiness and related industry members. For more information or assistance, please contact Ken Cooper, Director of Operations and Risk Strategy for Western Growers Insurance Services, at [email protected].