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Cal/OSHA Proposes Indoor Heat Illness Prevention Standard

19 Apr

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Update Applicable to:
All employers with indoor places of employment in the state of California.

What happened?
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA Standards Board) has published its proposed indoor heat illness prevention standard

What are the details?
While there are already heat illness regulations for outdoor places of employment, the proposal would apply to indoor places of employment when the temperature equals or exceeds 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

If approved, the proposed standard would require employers to:

  • Establish, implement, and maintain a written heat illness prevention program, which may be part of the employer’s injury and illness prevention programs.
  • Provide fresh, cool drinking water free of charge.
  • Maintain cooldown areas.
  • Collect temperature and heat index measurements, and assess prevention program control measures.
  • Develop and implement emergency response procedures for signs and symptoms of heat illness.
  • Closely observe employees during heat acclimatization periods.
  • Provide employee and supervisor training.

Employers are also required to initiate additional preventive measures for heat illness protection when:

  1. The temperature equals or exceeds 82 degrees Fahrenheit when employees are present;
  2. Employees wear clothes that restrict heat removal and temperature equals or exceeds 82 degrees Fahrenheit; or
  3. Employees work in a high radiant heat area, and the temperature equals or exceeds 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Such requirements include using instruments to measure heat index in areas where employees are present and implementing various control measures such as engineering controls to reduce the temperature or heat index or both.

The proposed indoor heat illness regulation has entered the forty-five-day comment period. The Cal/OSHA Standards Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed regulation on May 18, 2023.

For more information, please see the links below:

Proposed Indoor Heat Standard

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and be on the lookout for any results of the public hearing on May 18, 2023. Vensure will continue to provide more updates once more news has been received.

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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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