New Regulations For Indoor Heat Hazards Coming Soon

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New Regulations For Indoor Heat Hazards Coming Soon

By Jacquelyn Larson

On September 29, 2016, the Governor signed into a law a new requirement for Cal/OSHA to create regulations regarding indoor heat hazards in the workplace.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, already has standards for outdoor heat hazards. For example, shade needs to be provided if it is over 85 degrees out.  It is well known that employers in California must have an Injury and Illness Prevention Program (“IIPP”) that complies with these standards.

A prior eblast (link) noted that in October 2015, the California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board (“Appeals Board”) upheld citations made by Cal/OSHA against employers for failing to adequately address indoor heat hazards. That case put employers on notice that they now need to address indoor heat hazards, and gave some suggestions. In addition to providing water coolers, fans to assist with ventilation, and air-conditioned areas, the Appeals Board suggested monitoring the temperature, monitoring employees once the temperature reached 95 degrees, requiring heavy labor to be done at earlier times in the day, and rotating employees to lessen exposure to hot areas. However, the case did not set specific standards for employers to follow.

The new law requires Cal/OSHA, by January 1, 2019, to propose to the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board a heat illness and injury prevention standard applicable to “workers working in indoor places of employment.” The bill states that the standard shall be based on “environmental temperatures, work activity levels, and other factors.” The bill particularly noted that the division may propose standards specific to certain industry sectors.


Employers continue to be on notice that they must anticipate whether a heat illness prevention plan is necessary for their indoor facilities. It appears that more specific regulations will be coming in the next few years, but in the meantime contact the Saqui Law Group if you have any questions as to whether and how your IIPP should address indoor heat hazards.



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