Implementing a Heat Illness Prevention Plan and Staying Safe in the Summer Sun

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Implementing a Heat Illness Prevention Plan and Staying Safe in the Summer Sun

 By: Rebecca Hause-Schultz

The California Department of Industrial Relations issued a news release on June 15, 2017 on behalf of Cal/OSHA reminding employers to protect outdoor workers from heat illness. You can read the news release here. Many areas throughout California will be reaching triple digits next week, which will trigger employers’ obligations to comply with California’s Heat Illness Prevention guidelines.

Pursuant to California’s Heat Illness Prevention Standard, employers are required to train employees on the signs and symptoms of heat illness, provide shade when temperatures exceed 80 degrees, develop emergency response procedures, and train workers on how to execute those procedures when necessary.

There are special procedures for high-heat conditions where temperatures reach 95 degrees or above, including observing employees for signs of heat illness, designating employees on each worksite authorized to call for emergency medical services, reminding employees to drink plenty of water, and holding pre-shift meetings before work to review high heat procedures.  As Cal/OSHA points out, special attention should be given to new employees who are not used to working under hot conditions.


Now that the high heat of summer is upon us, it is critical that employers remain diligent in ensuring compliance with applicable Heat Illness Prevention protocols to ensure employee safety and prevent fines. Cal/OSHA inspects outdoor worksites throughout the heat season.

Additionally, employers should be aware of indoor heat safety concerns.  Although there is currently no indoor heat illness standard, Cal/OSHA is working on creating one and has been directed to do so by January 1, 2019. As such, employers should be prepared for increased indoor temperatures due to the weather, and as with outdoor operations, ensure that employees have access to water and monitor for signs of heat illness. If you have questions about your company’s Heat Illness Prevention Program or want to ensure that your program is compliant, contact the experts at The Saqui Law Group.


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