Proposed OSHA Rule for California Indoor Heat Illness Protection due January 1, 2019

On September 29, 2016, Governor Brown signed a bill that directs Cal/OSHA to create a regulation protecting employees of indoor workplaces from heat illness. Section 6720 was added to SB 1167 requiring that a proposed rule be submitted to Cal/OSHA Standards Board by January 1, 2019. The standard would apply to all indoor work areas where the temperature equals or exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit when employees are present.

In November 2015, the California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board has ruled in favor of Cal/OSHA’s citations against two employers because their Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (IIPP) failed to effectively address the hazard of indoor heat.

“This is the first case of indoor heat considered by the Appeals Board. In this case, the ruling affirms that California’s IIPP standard can be used to address hazards that the standard does not specifically identify, including indoor heat,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR).

On-the-job heat exposure is a risk during operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources, high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities. Affected workplaces may include foundries, brick-firing and ceramic plants, glass products facilities, rubber products plants, electric utilities, commercial kitchens, laundries, chemical plants, and smelters.

OSHA emphasizes that while thousands of workers become sick each year from occupational heat exposure, the illnesses and deaths that can result are preventable.

All in One Poster Company designed the California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Work Environments to address this requirement. Our poster contains steps to prevent heat illness, types of heat illnesses and treatments, and steps that both employees and employers can take to address this issue and create a plan of action. Our easy-to-read, laminated poster is designed to supplement the mandatory training that will be required by the Cal/OSHA standard. It can also be used as a quick reference guide in preventing heat stress, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or even death.

Our California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Work Environments Poster is available in both English and Spanish, and measures 24″ x 39″.

All in One Posters - California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Working Environments

Cal/OSHA Wins First Ever Decision in Case Protecting Workers from Indoor Heat

The California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board has ruled in favor of Cal/OSHA’s 2012 citations against two employers because their Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (IIPP) failed to effectively address the hazard of indoor heat.

“This is the first case of indoor heat considered by the Appeals Board. In this case, the ruling affirms that California’s IIPP standard can be used to address hazards that the standard does not specifically identify, including indoor heat,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Cal/OSHA, officially known as the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, is a division of DIR.

The IIPP is a basic written program that every employer must develop to comply with occupational safety and health standards and effectively train employees in recognizing hazards.

“California is the only state with an outdoor Heat Illness Prevention standard,” said Juliann Sum, Chief of Cal/OSHA. “Now all workers, including those who work indoors like warehouse workers, are protected from the hazard of heat.”

The case stemmed from the January 2012 serious citations Cal/OSHA issued to Tri-State Staffing (TSI), a temporary staffing agency, and warehouse operator National Distribution Center (NDC) for the heat illness suffered by an employee in August 2011. A serious violation is cited when there is a realistic possibility that death or serious harm could result from the actual hazardous condition.

It was during this time that 49-year-old Domingo Blancas, a TSI employee hired to work in an NDC-operated warehouse, suffered heat illness while working inside a metal freight container with a temperature over 100 degrees. He reported his illness to his temp agency supervisor, who arranged for him to be transported to a local clinic by another employee who had also reported heat illness that day. The doctor at the clinic questioned if Blancas might be suffering from dehydration and referred him to the Emergency Room, but Blancas did not go to the ER and the next day he was hospitalized for three days due to heat stroke.

Both TSI and NDC were penalized $18,000 for failing to implement an effective IIPP. Both companies appealed the citations to an administrative law judge (ALJ). In March 2015. the ALJ issued its decision in favor of TSI and NDC, dismissing their citations. Cal/OSHA appealed that decision to the Appeals Board, stating the ALJ should have affirmed the citations because the employers had failed to effectively correct the hazard of indoor heat exposure, and had not trained employees on the hazard of indoor heat exposure and heat illness. The three-panel board agreed with Cal/OSHA and overturned the ALJ’s decision.

This unprecedented decision also reinforces the fact that all employers have a responsibility for ensuring compliance with all Cal/OSHA standards, not just the employer in charge of the worksite, according to the agency.

On-the-job heat exposure is a risk during operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources, high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities. Affected workplaces may include foundries, brick-firing and ceramic plants, glass products facilities, rubber products plants, electric utilities, commercial kitchens, laundries, chemical plants, and smelters.

OSHA emphasizes that while thousands of workers become sick each year from occupational heat exposure, the illnesses and deaths that can result are preventable.

All in One Poster Company designed the California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Work Environments to address this problem. Our poster contains steps to prevent heat illness, types of heat illnesses and treatments, and steps that both employees and employers can take to address this issue and create a plan of action.

Univ. of California system raises minimum wage to $13 an hour

University of California CollageThe first phase of a law that will eventually boost the minimum wage of all University of California employees to $15 an hour went into effect on Thursday.

The UC system is the first in the country to voluntarily create a plan for a $15 minimum wage, according to a university statement emailed on Thursday.Now, all university employees working 20 or more hours per week will earn at least $13 an hour. That wage is expected to increase to $14 an hour on Oct. 1 of 2016 and reach its target of $15 an hour on Oct. 1 the following year.

According to the UC website, the system employs 190,000 workers, though only a small fraction of workers will benefit from the program as the program only impacts those workers receiving an hourly wage.

According to NPR, the full policy is set to affect 3,200 employees in the University of California system. However, the total number affected could actually be higher, as any third party contracted by UC for services will earn the required wage, also according to the system’s website.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15:  University of California employees represented by the Union Coalition demonstrate in front of UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center to call on University of California executives take a pay cut instead of reducing services to patients, cutting employee hours and increasing student tuition on July 15, 2009 in the Westwood area of Los Angeles, California. As California continues to make history drastic cuts to state funds to get a handle on the state budget crises, union officials say that UC administrators have declined to give them budget information that shows reduced hours and services are needed. Pending reductions in work hours and services may affect as many as 150,000 public employees at all 10 University of California campuses.   (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 15: University of California employees represented by the Union Coalition demonstrate in front of UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center to call on University of California executives take a pay cut instead of reducing services to patients, cutting employee hours and increasing student tuition on July 15, 2009 in the Westwood area of Los Angeles, California. As California continues to make history drastic cuts to state funds to get a handle on the state budget crises, union officials say that UC administrators have declined to give them budget information that shows reduced hours and services are needed. Pending reductions in work hours and services may affect as many as 150,000 public employees at all 10 University of California campuses. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

“This is the right thing to do — for our workers and their families, for our mission and values, and to enhance UC’s leadership role by becoming the first public university in the United States to voluntarily establish a minimum wage of 15 dollars,” UC President Janet Napolitano said when the plan was first announced.

The UC system’s website states the school will fund the cost of the extra wages through “non-core funds, including sales and revenue,” which will not include tuition or state resources. Employees can report wage or working conditions via a hotline, an online complaint system or periodic and annual audits.

The move comes in the midst of a national debate about the value of a minimum wage increase.

Michael Schramm is a student at the University of Michigan and USA TODAY College breaking news correspondent.

Cal/OSHA Issues High Heat Advisory for Sacramento Valley, Northern California as Temperatures Rise

Oakland—Cal/OSHA is urging all employers, particularly those in the Sacramento Valley and adjacent foothills, to protect their outdoor workers from heat illness. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for these areas, where temperatures are expected to rise to highs of 115 degrees through Friday morning. Heat warnings are issued when weather conditions pose a threat to life.

“We want to ensure that the rules in place are followed to protect outdoor workers during

soaring temperatures,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). The Division of Occupational Safety and Health, known as Cal/OSHA, is a division of DIR.

California’s heat regulation requires all employers with outdoor workers to protect outdoor workers by taking these basic steps:

  • Train all employees and supervisors about heat illness prevention.
  • Provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least 1 quart, or four 8-ounce glasses, of water per hour, and encourage them to do so.
  • Provide access to shade and encourage employees to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least 5 minutes. They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.
  • Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard.

“Heat illness can be life threatening,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “That’s why employers are required to make sure outdoor workers have enough shade, water and rest, even if they don’t see visible symptoms of sickness.”

When temperatures reach 95 degrees, as predicted in Northern California, special “high heat” procedures are also required. These procedures include:

  • Observing workers for signs and symptoms of heat illness.
  • Providing close supervision of workers in their first 14 days of employment to ensure acclimatization.
  • Having effective communication systems in place to be able to call for emergency assistance if necessary.

Cal/OSHA will inspect outdoor worksites in industries such as agriculture, construction, landscaping, and others throughout the heat season. Through partnerships with various employer and worker organizations in different industries, Cal/OSHA will also provide consultation, outreach and training on heat illness prevention.

Cal/OSHA’s award-winning heat illness prevention campaign, the first of its kind in the nation, includes enforcement of heat regulations as well as outreach and training for California’s employers and workers.

Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers and employee organizations to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.

Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734), or the California Workers’ Information Hotline at 866-924-9757 for recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics.

For media inquiries contact Erika Monterroza at (510) 286-1164 or Peter Melton at (510) 286-7046.

California’s New Stricter Guidelines for Heat Illness Prevention To Take Effect May 1, 2015

With the warmer months fast approaching, plus recent record breaking heat in early 2015, California state officials have approved the new revisions in its Heat Illness Prevention standard in hopes of reducing heat related illness and death. The recent updates, that are set to go into effect on May 1st, implemented a lower heat temperature to trigger a requirement to provide water, rest, and shade for workers, additional requirements to monitor and treat employees taking a rest, and mandatory pre-shift meetings to review high-heat procedures.

Christine Baker, director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) recently commented that “California’s heat illness standards are the strongest in the country, and we will continue to work with both labor and management to ensure that workers stay well on the job.”

Exposure to heat can lead to headaches, fatigue and muscle cramps, as well as fainting, seizures and even death. Juliann Sum, the Acting Chief of California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) advised that heat illness can easily be prevented.

The Centers for Disease Control defines some of the symptoms of heath illness as follows:

CAHeatStress2015

   Heat Exhaustion

  • Heavy sweating
    • Weakness
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting

Heat Stroke

  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • Rapid and strong pulse
  • Possible unconsciousness

California’s construction and farming industries are most susceptible to workers experiencing heat illnesses specially during the hot summer months when temperatures regularly exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

The State of California recently updated its regulations to further prevent and potentially reduce heat related illness. As of May 1, 2015, California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 3395 dubbed the Health Illness Prevention Standard mandates employers to take the following steps to prevent health illness when temperatures reach at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit:

  1. Employers shall provide heat illness prevention training to all employees, including supervisors. (Safety posters are a good way to remind employees and keep businesses complaint with this important safety regulation.)
  1. Employers shall provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least 1 quart per hour.
  2. Employers must provide access to shade for at least 5 minutes of rest when an employee believes he or she needs a preventative rest period.
  3. The recent changes also added a 10-minute mandatory recovery period to be taken every 2 hours during times of high heat, or when temperatures reach 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Emergency response procedures was also given emphasis as part of the recent update to ensure aid is provided at the soonest time possible.
  5. Acclimatization provisions were also added which require supervision to ensure proper adjustment to sudden weather changes.

In addition to the provisions above, employers are also ordered to develop and implement a written plan for complying with the heat illness prevention standard.  Heat illness prevention programs are encouraged to be integrated into an employers Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPPs) required by section 3203.

Other areas of IIPP may also include other OSHA Safety Standards such as:

California Code of Safe Practices English and Spanish

California Aerosol Transmissible Diseases

California Forklift English and Spanish

Safe Lifting/Avoiding Slips, Trips, and Falls English and Spanish

California Workers’ Compensation Fraud Bilingual
Cal/OSHA maintains the following field office in California and can be reached at the phone number listed.

CALOSHA

Concord (925) 602-6517                                                  San Bernardino (909) 383-4321

Foster City (650) 573-3812                                              San Diego (619) 767-2280

Fremont (510) 794-2521                                                  Ventura (805) 654-4581

Fresno (559) 445-5302                                                     Modesto (209) 576-6260

Los Angeles (213) 576-7451                                             Monrovia (626) 256-7913

San Francisco (415) 972-8670                                         West Covina (626) 472-0046

Santa Ana (714) 558-4451                                                Van Nuys (818) 901-5403

Santa Rosa (707) 576-2388

Torrance (310) 516-3734

Oakland (510) 622-2916

Sacramento (916) 263-2800

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