Cal/OSHA Issues Extreme Heat Advisory

Cal/OSHA urgently advises employers in California to prepare for record-setting temperatures. The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings for Southern California that will last from Sunday through Wednesday. Los Angeles is expected to be hit with its first significant heat wave of the year, with temperatures expected to peak at 102 in downtown Los Angeles, and 105 in inland Orange County.

Even coastal areas may see the temperatures in the low 90s. Temperatures approaching 120 degrees are predicted in the Inland Empire and lower desert areas. There is also a heat watch in effect for San Luis Obispo County.

In addition to the basic steps outlined by California’s heat regulation for employers with outdoor workers, heat above 95 degrees Fahrenheit requires additional precautions.

Among other measures, it is crucial that workers are actively monitored for early signs of heat illness. This helps ensure sick employees receive treatment immediately and that the symptoms do not develop into serious illness or death. “With excessive temperatures on their way, employers must be vigilant,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “Ensuring an adequate supply of water, providing a shaded area for rest and recognizing the signs of heat illness can save workers’ lives.”

California’s heat regulation requires employers to protect outdoor workers by taking these basic steps:

• Train all employees and supervisors about heat illness prevention.

• Provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least 1 quart, or four 8-ounce glasses, of water per hour, and encourage them to do so.

• Provide access to shade and encourage employees to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least 5 minutes. They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.

• Ensure that emergency medical services can and will be summoned when an employee feels sick or exhibits signs of heat illness, such as nausea, exhaustion or mental confusion.

• Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard.

Cal/OSHA will inspect outdoor worksites in industries such as agriculture, construction, landscaping, and others throughout the heat season. Through partnerships with various employer and worker organizations in different industries, Cal/OSHA will also provide consultation, outreach and training on heat illness prevention.

Cal/OSHA’s award-winning heat illness prevention campaign, the first of its kind in the nation, includes enforcement of heat regulations as well as outreach and training for California’s employers and workers.

Online information on the heat illness prevention requirements and training materials can be obtained at Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness web page or the Water. Rest. Shade. campaign site. A Heat Illness Prevention e-tool is also available on Cal/OSHA’s website.

Source: Department of Industrial Relations  |  2016 © Copyright Payroll Masters

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