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Cal/OSHA Indoor Heat Illness Prevention Standard

18 Jun

Update Applicable to:Effective Date
All employers with indoor places of employment in the state of CaliforniaSee Details Below

What happened?

On May 8, 2024, OAL issued a decision rejecting the previously submitted indoor heat illness standard. The Standards Board immediately issued a new draft regulation.

What are the details?

As previously communicated by Vensure, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board adopted the Indoor Heat Illness Rule; however, it was rescinded because of the estimated economic cost of its implementation.

It is still remarkably similar to the previous version that got rejected, although modifications were made.

Key Bites

  • The use of the “heat index” chart has been clarified.
  • Language that allowed for the outdoor heat regulation to apply when an indoor location was not normally occupied or was only occupied for less than fifteen minutes in an hour, and was not contiguous with a normally occupied location, has been removed.
  • The draft regulation clarifies acclimatization requirements when employees wear clothing that restricts heat removal.
  • The same prior requirements for training, trigger points of 82°F and 87°F, requirements for administrative and engineering controls, procedures for the provision of water and access to cool-down areas, procedures for acclimatization, and requirements for emergency response procedures are included in this version.
  • Vehicles would be covered by the indoor heat regulation if the vehicles are fully enclosed, but not if the air conditioning cools the vehicle down.
  • The proposal is expected to be presented to the Standards Board for a vote at the June meeting. If approved by the Board, the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) has 30 working days to review. Cal/OSHA estimates the regulation could be in effect by July or August.
  • Written comments on the new regulation were received up to 5:00 p.m. on May 30, 2024, at the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board.
  • The earliest that the Standards Board could consider the regulation would be the June 20, 2024, meeting in Vacaville, however, the regulation is not on any agenda at this time.

Finally, the DIR also emitted a reminder for employers to protect workers from heat illness during high temperatures.

Business Considerations

  • Employers should be prepared to develop a written prevention program that outlines the steps they are taking to prevent heat illness in indoor workplaces.
  • Employers should be prepared to provide training to workers and supervisors about indoor heat illness prevention. This should include information on how to identify symptoms of heat illness and what to do if someone is suffering from heat illness.
  • Employers should be prepared to monitor the temperature and heat index in the workplace and keep records of these measurements.
  • Employers are encouraged to involve employees in monitoring the temperatures and identifying and evaluating risk factors for heat illness.
  • Employers should put into action engineering measures to lower the workplace temperature, including strategies such as enhancing ventilation or employing air conditioning, among other possible solutions.
  • Employers should consider the conditions of vehicles if applicable.
  • Employers should monitor the progress of the regulation because, if approved, employers would need to adjust policies, practices, and facilities to comply.

Source References


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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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