California law requires heat illness education for outdoor workers

Whereas many Americans in northern states are welcoming the approaching summer with open arms, San Bernardino readers might have more hesitation. In the dog days of summer, in particular, temperatures can get far too close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit for comfort. For that reason, many California residents prefer the seasons of spring and fall to the hot summer months.

For state workplace safety regulators, however, the aversion to excessive summer heat is more than just a weather preference. In extreme cases, it could be a matter of life and death. For that reason, Cal/OSHA recently launched a statewide campaign to educate outdoor workers about heat illness and prevention.

California has its share of outdoor workers, in industries that include agriculture, landscaping, oil extraction, construction or even outdoor recreational managers. For that reason, state officials have codified some of the safety precautions that employers must take in outdoor workplaces.

Found in Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations, some of the workplace safety measures include providing employees with access to shade; reminding workers at regular intervals to drink water and providing them with a source of cool, fresh water; periodically monitoring workers for signs of heat illness; training employees on heat illness prevention and safety; and preparing an official company procedure in the event of a heat illness emergency.

Outdoor workers may not realize that state workplace safety regulations also apply to them. For that reason, a workers' compensation attorney might be a valuable resource to outdoor workers who are unsure how to report dangerous workplace conditions.

Source: hr.blr.com, "Cal/OSHA Launches 2013 Heat Illness Prevention Campaign," April 4, 2013

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