Rest, Water, Shade, Communicate, Train. Implement High Heat Procedures!

Protect your outdoor workers from heat illness as temperatures hit extreme highs this week. The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings with temperatures well over 100 degrees in many regions.

“Employers need to be aware of the rules that protect workers from heat illness,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum.  “Water, rest, shade and increased vigilance are absolutely essential in high heat conditions.”

California’s heat regulation requires all employers with outdoor workers 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.
  • Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard.

Cal/OSHA will inspect outdoor construction worksites 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.

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.

Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.

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