United States: Cal/OSHA Warns California Employers That Another Hot Summer Is On The Horizon

On June 1, 2016, the California Occupational Safety and Health Division (Cal/OSHA), predicting that temperatures in certain parts of Southern California and even the cooler Bay Area are expected to exceed 100 degrees, issued a "Statewide High Heat Advisory." Cal/OSHA used the Advisory as an opportunity to remind California employers how they can protect their outdoor workers, including developing and implementing written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA "Heat Illness Prevention Standard."

Cal/OSHA's Heat Illness Prevention Standard

Cal/OSHA's Heat Illness Prevention Standard applies to any "outdoor place of employment"1 and requires a written and "effective heat illness prevention plan."2

Providing Water. An employer must encourage frequent water consumption, and provide enough fresh water so each employee can drink at least one quart, or four eight-ounce glasses, of water per hour. The water must be fresh, pure, suitably cool, and free of charge. It also must be located as close as practicable to the areas where employees are working.

Access to Shade. Subject to very limited exceptions, access to shade must be available regardless of the temperature. Employees must be allowed and encouraged to take a preventive cool-down rest in the shade when they feel the need to do so to protect themselves from overheating.

  • If the temperature is above 80 degrees, the employer must have and maintain one or more areas with shade at all times while employees are present that are either open to the air or provided with ventilation or cooling. The amount of shade present shall be enough to accommodate the number of employees on recovery or rest periods so they can sit in a normal posture fully in the shade without having to be in physical contact with each other. The shade will be located as close as practicable to the areas where employees are working. Subject to the same specifications, the shade present during meal periods will be at least enough to accommodate the number of employees on the meal period who remain onsite.
  • If the temperature is below 80 degrees, the employer can either provide the shade described above or provide timely access to shade upon an employee's request.

The Advisory states that employers should encourage employees to be proactive and take a cool-down rest when needed rather than wait until they start feeling sick. If an employee takes a preventive cool-down rest, he or she will:

  • be monitored and asked if he or she is experiencing symptoms of heat illness;
  • be encouraged to remain in the shade; and
  • not be ordered back to work until any signs or symptoms of heat illness have abated, but in no event less than five minutes in addition to the time needed to access the shade.

An employer must provide appropriate first aid or emergency response if an employee exhibits signs or reports symptoms of heat illness.

High-Heat Procedures. Employers covered by this section must implement high-heat procedures when the temperature equals or exceeds 95 degrees. These procedures must include, among many others, ensuring that effective communication by voice, observation or electronic means is maintained so employees at the work site can contact a supervisor; observing employees for alertness or signs or symptoms of heat illness; designating one or more employees on the worksite as authorized to call for emergency aid; and reminding employees throughout their shift to drink plenty of water. Agricultural employers will ensure that employees take at least 10 minutes of preventive cool-down rest every two hours.

Emergency Response Procedures. All employers must implement effective emergency response procedures that include responding to signs and symptoms of possible heat illness; contacting emergency medical services; and ensuring that, if an emergency occurs, clear and precise directions to the work site can and will be provided to the emergency responders.

Training. All employees are to be trained on the following topics:

  • Environmental and personal risk factors for heat illness.
  • The employer's procedures for complying with the Standard.
  • The importance of frequent consumption of small quantities of water, up to four cups per hour under extreme conditions of work and heat.
  • The importance of acclimatization, which is the temporary adaptation of the body to work in the heat.
  • Different types of heat illness and the common signs and symptoms of heat illness.
  • The importance of immediately reporting to the employer symptoms or signs of heat illness in themselves or in coworkers.
  • The employer's procedures for responding to symptoms of possible heat illness.
  • Procedures for contacting emergency medical services.
  • How to provide clear and precise directions to the worksite.

The Standard also includes additional training requirements for supervisors.

Recommendations for California Employers

According to the Advisory, Cal/OSHA "will inspect outdoor worksites in industries such as agriculture, construction, landscaping, and others throughout the heat season." As a result, California employers with outdoor places of employment should consider:

  • Reviewing their current injury and illness plans to ensure that they incorporate the Heat Illness Prevention Standard's requirements;
  • Training their employees and managers on these requirements; and
  • Ensuring that outdoor workers are provided with the shade and water necessary to avoid illness.

Footnotes

1 All industries must comply, except that only the following industries must comply with the "high heat procedures" section of the Standard: agriculture; construction; landscaping; oil and gas extraction; and transportation or delivery of agricultural products, construction materials, or other heavy materials (except for employment that consists of operating an air-conditioned vehicle and does not include loading or unloading).

2 The full text of the Standard and its requirements can be found at Cal/OSHA's website: http://www.dir.ca.gov/title8/3395.html.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.