Cal/OSHA Issues First 2014 High Heat Advisory
The agency reminds employers in the state to ensure their outdoor workers are protected as the temperatures rise.
Cal/OSHA on April 30 reminded employers in the state to make sure their outdoor workers are protected from possible heat illnesses. Temperatures are expected to be 15 to 25 degrees above normal this week statewide, the agency noted.
"With the first significant heat wave of the year expected this week and into the weekend, we want to make sure employers know their responsibilities and what is needed for outdoor workers to avoid heat illness," said Christine Baker, director of the Department of Industrial Relations, parent agency of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA).
"Early in the season, especially as the temperatures spike, all workers, regardless of fitness, should be given the opportunity to acclimatize to handle heat stress and prevent serious injuries from heat illness," said acting Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum.
California's heat regulation requires all employers with outdoor workers to take these steps to protect outdoor workers:
- Train all employees and supervisors about heat illness prevention.
- Provide plenty of cool, fresh water and encourage employees to drink water frequently.
- Provide a shaded area for workers to take a cool down recovery break.
- Prepare an emergency heat illness prevention plan for the worksite, with training for supervisors and workers on the steps to take if a worker shows signs or symptoms of heat illness.
The agency's notice reminds employers and safety managers that acclimatization is important for new workers and for everyone during times of high heat.
"Extra attention and training should focus on work pace, water, shade, and rest breaks. Workers should be encouraged to report any symptoms promptly to avoid the progression of mild heat illness to more serious heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Focusing on preventive measures is the best way to keeping the workforce healthy and productive," Sum said.