Cal/OSHA gives warns employers about heat

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Cal/OSHA is reminding all businesses that employ outdoor workers that efforts must be undertaken to protect those employees from the heat.

The agency requires that shade must be available at all times and must be in place when temperatures reach 80 degrees or above. It also suggests that employers take steps to encourage workers to take cool-down rests in the shade to avoid overheating.

The state’s heat-prevention standard applies to all outdoor workers, including those in agriculture, construction and landscaping. Other workers protected by the standard include security guards and groundskeepers, and transportation and delivery drivers operating non-air-conditioned vehicles.

The reminder was issued on the heels of the National Weather Service issuing heat advisories for various counties including Bakersfield, Eastern Kern County, Foggy Bottom, Fresno, Merced and Madera, San Joaquin Confluence, Southern Kings County, Tulare County, West Side Hills, Western Kern County, and Western San Joaquin Valley.

Cal/OSHA offers a heat illness prevention special emphasis program. It includes not just enforcement of heat regulations but also multilingual outreach and training for employers and workers. Details are available online.  It also offers a heat prevention online tool.

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