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When you think about summer, you likely picture warm days, shorts and a T-shirt, and ice-cool beverages. While leisure time is always acceptable, you also need to consider what effects the annual heatwave will have on your employees — Cal/OSHA requires it!

Setting the standard

As many of you are aware, Cal/OSHA has long been a proponent of ensuring their workplace standards go above and beyond what federal OSHA requires. That’s no different when it comes to heat!

At Title 8, Section 3395, Cal/OSHA requires that training on heat illness prevention be provided to all supervisory and non-supervisory employees who work in outdoor places of employment.

Where do I start?

Prior to having employees work in the heat, train them on environmental and personal risk factors, prevention measures, heat illness signs and symptoms, as well as reporting and emergency response procedures.

Once you provide employees training on their risk factors, you might talk about how to prevent heat-related illness by recognizing signs and symptoms for example, you might cover things like:

  • Fatigue
  • Heat rash
  • Fainting
  • Heat cramps
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heat stroke

From there, you can clearly define how they can mitigate risk, while also providing them the tools they need to stay safe on the job.

What about indoors?

Cal/OSHA does not have a specific regulation governing exposure to heat indoors. However, the Agency can cite employers under the General Duty Clause when employees are overexposed to excessive heat.