It may be early June, but triple-digit summer heat is already here. Palm Springs, Indio, and surrounding areas topped 110 degrees the week of June 10. Other regions such as Shasta, San Bernardino, and Merced Counties expect temperatures of 105 or higher. And, we’re just getting started.
This means outdoor workers are at greater risk of heat-related illnesses, such as heat-stroke, heat exhaustion, and heat stress. To take the necessary precautions to protect your employees remember: Water, Rest, Shade.
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 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.
- 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. These precautions help you better equip your employees no matter how hot it gets.
The above evaluations and/or recommendations are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon for medical advice or legal compliance purposes. They are based solely on the information provided to us and relate only to those conditions specifically discussed. We do not make any warranty, expressed or implied, that your workplace is safe or healthful or that it complies with all laws, regulations or standards.