Revised Cal/OSHA Heat Safety Regulation in Effect May 1

DIR announced that the proposed amendments have been approved by the Office of Administrative Law.

California's Department of Industrial Relations announced that amendments to the state's current heat illness prevention regulation have been approved by the Office of Administrative Law and become effective May 1 in order to address this year's anticipated warmer weather.

"The new heat illness prevention requirements offer additional safeguards for outdoor workers," said Christine Baker, director of the department. “With warmer weather expected, these new requirements give employers tools to prevent and deal with serious heat-related medical conditions that can happen to employees on the job."

The updated regulation also applies to agriculture, construction, landscaping, oil and gas extraction, and transportation of agricultural goods and construction or heavy materials.

Some of the revisions include that water must be pure, suitably cool, provided free to workers, and must be located as close as practicable to where employees are working so they can hydrate frequently during their shift; when temperatures exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit, shade is required for all workers on break and for all those who take their meal periods on site; for climates cooler than 80 degrees, shade must still be made available upon request; workers who take cool-down rest breaks must be monitored and asked whether they are experiencing heat illness symptoms.

"These modifications will help further reduce the heat-related risks associated with working outdoors," said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. "The changes provide valuable information to help employers understand how to prevent heat illness in the workplace, and our goal is to help them comply with the new requirements."

OH&S is presenting a "Solving Heat Stress Challenges" webinar on May 6, five days after the revised regulation takes effect in the most populous U.S. state. To register for the free webinar, click here.


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