OSHA Heat Warning
Everyone has heard it is going to be very hot. As employers, you have a responsibility for making sure your Heat Injury & Illness Program is up and going fine.
This is what Ca?OSHA has just issued for all:
Cal/OSHA is prompting all employers with outdoor workers to review their heat illness prevention plan and protect their employees ahead of excessive heat in parts of central and southern California. The National Weather Service is forecasting record heat from San Luis Obispo through Los Angeles on Friday and Saturday, while triple-digit temperatures are expected in the Central Valley this weekend.
“To effectively prevent heat illness, employers must have a plan that includes procedures for providing water, shade and responding to emergencies,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “The plan must be available to employees at the worksite and must be written in English and the language most employees understand.”
California’s heat illness prevention regulation requires employers with outdoor workers to take the following four 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.
Cal/OSHA urges workers experiencing possible overheating to take a preventative cool-down rest in the shade until symptoms are gone. Workers who have existing health problems or medical conditions that reduce tolerance to heat, such as diabetes, need to be extra vigilant. Some high blood pressure and anti-inflammatory medications can also increase a worker’s risk for heat illness.
In addition to the other requirements outlined in California’s heat illness prevention regulation, it is crucial that supervisors are effectively trained on emergency procedures in case a worker does get sick. This helps ensure sick employees receive treatment immediately and that the symptoms do not develop into a serious illness or death.
Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention special emphasis program, the first of its kind in the nation, includes enforcement of heat regulations as well as multilingual outreach and training programs for California’s employers and workers. Online information on heat illness prevention requirements and training materials are available on Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention web page and the Water. Rest. Shade. campaign site.
A Heat Illness Prevention e-tool is also available on Cal/OSHA’s website. Cal/OSHA and Compliance & Safety First helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Employers and workers who have questions or need assistance with workplace health and safety programs can call our Consultation Services Branch at 909-481-7223.
Complaints about workplace safety and health hazards can be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices. Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734).