Cal/OSHA Gauges Heat Illness Enforcement, Training Efforts

So far this year, Cal/OSHA has conducted 1,298 heat illness inspections in outdoor industries compared to 1,018 for all of last year, the agency announced recently. Also, more than 347 citations for heat illness prevention violations have been issued and there are many cases still open that will result in more violations, Cal/OSHA says.

"California is the first state in the nation to have regulations to protect outdoor workers from exposure to heat. We have done an extraordinary job in raising awareness of what heat illness is and in ensuring that outdoor employers are trained to detect and respond to heat illness," said Department of Industrial Relations Director John Duncan.

Cal/OSHA chief Len Welsh added, "We have a zero tolerance when it comes to failure to protect your workers from workplace hazards, which includes the summer heat for outdoor workers. Our actions taken since the heat illness protection law became effective reveal this, and our efforts are only intensifying."

In addition to the enforcement activities, Cal/OSHA has conducted more then 649 heat illness seminars, onsite consultations, and outreach events throughout the state this year. Working with growers, the agency continues to host supplemental heat illness training sessions for farm labor contractors statewide. Cal/OSHA and DIR have also partnered with the California Department of Education's Migrant Education Program statewide so that program teachers and administrators can educate students and their families about heat stress and their rights. For more information on heat illness prevention and training materials, visit the Cal/OSHA Web site at www.dir.ca.gov/heatillness.

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