Cal/OSHA Campaign Highlights Heat Hazards, Prevention

Cal/OSHA announced Wednesday that it is taking a multifaceted approach to protecting California’s outdoor workers from heat illness and injuries that includes a combination of education, outreach, and enforcement efforts. The campaign will be the first time Cal/OSHA has reached out to workers through paid radio and billboard advertisements to complement training provided to employers and employees.

“Employers need to understand that they are responsible for ensuring that all the requirements under the Heat Illness Prevention Standard are followed,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Len Welsh. “Our heat sweeps are designed not only to send employers a strong enforcement message but also to provide employers and employees with information they need to keep their workers safe.”

The campaign’s slogan is “Water. Rest. Shade. Without them, the work can’t get done.” It features radio spots that began running this week in targeted languages as well as billboards which will be unveiled on June 1. The slogan and images are linked between the billboards, pamphlets, and training materials in order to build recognition of the requirements.

“California is the only state that has successfully partnered with employer organizations and employee advocates to offer dozens of heat illness prevention training seminars every year since 2008,” said California Department of Industrial Relations Director John C. Duncan. “As we continue this important work, we are adding a new dimension in order to reach even more people. Our comprehensive ad campaign will explain the importance of water, rest, and shade and speak directly to outdoor workers.”

The campaign aims to reach out to outdoor workers and includes messages in Spanish, Punjabi, and Hmong. This educational effort highlights the importance of California’s Heat Illness Prevention Standard adopted in July 2006. Since then, the state has been educating workers and employers in outdoor industries about the regulation’s requirements, the risks of working in the heat, and ways to stay safe.

On May 10, Cal/OSHA inspectors began a programmed outreach effort with inspection teams having a continuous presence at agricultural and other outdoor work locations across the state. These inspection locations will vary and be based on where the hottest temperatures exist.

Cal/OSHA provides more heat safety information for workers and employers, as well as a complete list of training seminars on its Web site, www.dir.ca.gov/DOSH/HeatIllnessInfo.html.

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