Cal/OSHA Reminds All Employers to Prevent Heat Illness
Message to Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention Network
Prevent heat illness by sharing resources on workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities
Cal/OSHA reminds all employers with outdoor workers to be prepared and take the necessary precautions to prevent heat illness as high temperatures continue throughout the state this week. Employers in California must take steps to protect outdoor workers from heat illness by providing water, rest, shade, and training.
You can help protect workers by sharing information about workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities. Share these resources to promote awareness and prevention of heat illness at work:
- Videos on outdoor workers’ rights in English and Spanish from the California Labor Secretary Natalie Palugyai:
- Free training materials for download or print order. Visit 99calor.org to download or request copies in English and Spanish.
- Employers can get free assistance on developing and maintaining heat illness prevention programs from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services. Visit Cal/OSHA’s website, call 1-800-963-9424, or email InfoCons@dir.ca.gov.
- Call Cal/OSHA’s Call Center. Workers and employers can ask questions about workplace safety and health by calling Cal/OSHA’s Call Center staffed during business hours in English and Spanish at 833-579-0927.
- Invite DIR to give an educational training or presentation by using the outreach request form.
- Notify Cal/OSHA of unsafe working conditions. All workers have workplace safety and health rights in California regardless of immigration status. Get in touch with Cal/OSHA to notify them about unsafe workplace conditions. Provide as much detail as possible, including the address and contact information so they can learn more.
California Heat Illness Prevention Standard
Cal/OSHA’s heat illness prevention standard applies to all outdoor worksites. To prevent heat illness, the law requires employers to provide outdoor workers with fresh water, access to shade at 80 degrees and whenever requested by a worker, cool-down rest breaks in addition to regular breaks, and to maintain an effective written prevention plan with training on the signs of heat illness and what to do in case of an emergency.
Employers with outdoor workers in all industries must take the following steps to prevent heat illness:
- Plan – Develop and implement an effective written heat illness prevention plan that includes emergency response procedures.
- Training – Train all employees and supervisors on heat illness prevention.
- Water – Provide drinking water that is fresh, pure, suitably cool, and free of charge so that each worker can drink at least one quart per hour, and encourage workers to do so.
- Rest – Encourage workers to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least five minutes when they feel the need to do so to protect themselves from overheating. Workers should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.
- Shade – Provide proper shade when temperatures exceed 80 degrees. Workers have the right to request and be provided shade to cool off at any time.
Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Employers who have questions or want assistance with workplace health and safety programs can call Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch at 800-963-9424.
Workers who have questions about heat illness prevention can call 833-579-0927 to speak with a Cal/OSHA representative in English or Spanish during normal business hours. Complaints about workplace safety and health hazards can be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices.