Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

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Federal And State-Specific Guidance for Keeping Your Employees Safe in Rising Temperatures

Friday, July 14, 2023



Per Cal/OSHA, employers with outdoor workers 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 1 quart per hour, and encourage workers to do so.

* Shade - Provide shade when workers request it and when temperatures exceed 80 degrees. Encourage workers to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least five minutes. They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.

Cal/OSHA urges workers experiencing possible overheating to take a preventative cooldown rest in the shade until symptoms are gone. Workers who have existing health problems or medical conditions that reduce tolerance to heat, such as diabetes, need to be extra vigilant. Some high blood pressure and anti-inflammatory medications can also increase a worker's risk for heat illness.

To prevent heat illness, it is crucial that supervisors are effectively trained on emergency procedures in case a worker gets sick. This helps ensure sick employees Department of Industrial Relations Release No.19-44 Page 2 receive treatment immediately and that the symptoms do not develop into a serious illness or death.

Cal/OSHA's Heat Illness Prevention special emphasis program, the first of its kind in the nation, includes enforcement of heat regulations as well as multilingual outreach and training programs for California's employers and workers. Detail on heat illness prevention requirements and training materials are available online on Cal/OSHA's Heat Illness Prevention web page and the 99calor.org informational website. A Heat Illness Prevention online tool is also available on Cal/OSHA's website.

Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Employers and workers who have questions or need assistance with workplace health and safety programs can call Cal/OSHA's Consultation Services Branch at 800-963-9424.

Complaints about workplace safety and health hazards can be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices. Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR's Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734).
Download: Arizona Heat Safety Resource Guide
State of Arizona Guidance on Heat Stress Awareness
OSHA on Heat Exposure
OSHA on Heat Illness Prevention

State of Utah Guidance on Extreme Heat
(WECA notes: it looks like this site is a work in progress, but if you scroll down you'll find some useful links.)
OSHA on Heat Exposure
OSHA on Heat Illness Prevention