The summer heat synonymous with California can take its toll on your outdoor employees. As temperatures reach and exceed 100 degrees in many parts of the state, those that must be outside are greater risk of heat-related illnesses. These include heat-stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat stress.
Protecting your outdoor workers from heat is the law
Under California’s heat illness prevention regulation, employers must:
- Provide fresh, pure, suitably cool drinking water free of charge. You must supply each employee with at least one quart of water for each hour of the work day, and encourage them to drink it.
- Provide enough shade for workers to cool down and rest. Encourage workers to take five minute shade breaks throughout the day. They should not wait until they feel sick.
- Have an effective written heat illness prevention plan that includes emergency response procedures. Cal/OSHA provides an e-tool with information on how to develop your heat illness plan.
- Train employees and supervisors on heat illness prevention.
High heat procedures
When temperatures exceed 95 degrees, California’s high heat procedures take effect. Aside from the above, employees are also entitled to a minimum 10-minute cool-down rest period every two hours. Employers must monitor their workers for signs of heat illness and follow other high heat requirements found in the heat illness regulation.
Summer heat is a way of life in California, and adjusting to it is critical to the success of your business. The National Weather Service provides the latest information about weather hazards throughout the state. Bookmark the page and check back often, and then take the necessary precautions to help protect your employees no matter how hot it gets.