Cal/OSHA reminds employers to prevent heat illness during period of high heat

Cal/OSHA is reminding all employers with outdoor workers to review high heat advisories in effect across California this week and to take steps to prevent heat illness. The National Weather Service has issued heat advisories this week for Monday through Saturday due to a period of high temperatures in many interior parts of the state from Shasta to Kern counties.

California’s heat illness prevention standard applies to all outdoor workers, including those in agriculture, construction, landscaping and those that spend a significant amount of time working outdoors such as security guards and groundskeepers, or in non-air conditioned vehicles such as transportation and delivery drivers.

While taking steps to protect their workers from heat illness, employers must also have a plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at each worksite. Employers should be attentive to allow enough space and time for employees to take breaks as needed in adequate shade while also maintaining a safe distance from one another. For many employers this will require staggered breaks or increased shaded break areas, or both. Extra infection prevention measures should be in place such as disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, including the water and restroom facilities.

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