California’s Threshold for Required Heat Illness Safeguards
An employer’s obligations to protect outdoor workers from heat-related illnesses starts at 80 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s 26.7 degrees Celsius to be precise). So say California’s Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board (OSHSB) regulations.
The regulations incorporate common sense rules for keeping workers safe:
California’s Division on Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) provides additional guidance, including information on what triggers heat illness, what to do about it, and creating a required written prevention plan.
A heat illness plan is one part of an employer’s Illness and Injury Prevention Plan (IIPP) and must be available at the worksite(s) to which it applies. If a business has a majority of workers who are non-English speakers, then it must translate its plan into the language(s) understood by the majority of the company’s workers.
Expect Cal/OSHA to engage in increased enforcement of these heat illness preventative measures during the summer. See, Cal/OSHA Increases Enforcement (June, 2011).
The OSHSB proposed a comparable set of regulations for indoor employees earlier this year, which has been going through revisions and is now in the rulemaking process.
Employers that have high-heat environments indoors or outdoors should be vigilant about protecting employees from heat illness whether specific rules exist or not and should regularly review IIPP measures to prevent heat-related illness.
August 9, 2019Back to Blog
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