Temperatures Are Heating Up – Take These Steps to Proactively Prevent Employee Heat Injuries
California Employment Law
August 18, 2023
In the scorching heat of 2023, parts of California have faced triple-digit temperatures, prompting concern for employee safety, especially for those working outdoors. The California Division of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the Cal/OSHA have introduced specific regulations to address this issue. Cal/OSHA's Heat Illness Prevention regulation applies to outdoor industries like agriculture, construction, and landscaping, and even extends to sectors like hospitality when temperatures exceed 85 degrees. Employers are mandated to ensure employee safety by providing training, adequate water, shade, and planning for high-heat days. Failure to provide additional rest breaks for outdoor workers can result in liability. These regulations are set to expand to indoor workplaces as well. Thus, employers are advised to implement comprehensive measures, including creating heat recovery policies, adding these to the Injury and Illness Prevention Program, and training managers for compliance. With the hottest days still anticipated, addressing heat-related risks is paramount.