Cal/OSHA Implements Updated Heat Safety Regulations

Cal/OSHA has implemented updated safety standards for employees working in outdoor heat. The revisions to the Heat Illness Prevention Standard, approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board on August 19, provide clarification of the shade requirement, including temperature triggers and address high-heat requirements.

The requirements for shade include:

Rules for high heat include:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Construction
  3. Landscaping
  4. Oil and gas extraction
  5. Transportation or delivery of agricultural products, construction material or other heavy materials

“The amendments that became effective today represent important measures to clarify and strengthen the heat illness prevention standard,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Len Welsh. “Our efforts in enforcement, outreach and educational partnerships over the last five years have paid off. We have seen significant behavior change resulting in a compliance increase among employers inspected from 35 to 85 percent.”

In 2005, California became the first state in the nation to develop a safety and health regulation to protect workers from heat illness. Labor Code Section 3395 became effective in 2006. The regulations include providing employees with water, shade and rest as well as heat illness training for employees and supervisors.

Cal/OSHA is the employee health and safety division of the Department of Industrial Relations.