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Release Number: 2023-61
Date: August 18, 2023

Cal/OSHA Reminds Employers to Protect Workers from Potential Worksite Hazards due to Severe Storm

In response to expected inclement weather related to Hurricane Hilary, Cal/OSHA reminds employers in California to be prepared to protect their workers from the impacts of significant rain and wind at work.

According to the National Weather Service:

  • Hurricane Hilary is expected to hit landfall as early as Saturday, August 19 and impact Southern California until Tuesday, August 22. Very rare and significant rain is expected. This storm could be the wettest tropical storm ever. The National Weather Service expects 1-3 inches of rainfall. Deserts may get 2 inches or more of rainfall in the next few days that will equal or exceed their annual normal amounts. Rainfall will decrease as the storm moves North through California. Flash flooding, river surges, debris flow, rockslides and downed power lines are all possible. Tropical storm force winds over 39 mph are expected with gusts anticipated to reach up to 70 mph. The mountains will see stronger winds at higher elevations. Sustained winds will begin on Sunday afternoon in Southern CA and continue through Monday. Emergency response time may be affected by this storm – so you must be prepared.

Under Cal/OSHA’s regulations, employers are responsible for protecting their workers from new or previously unrecognized hazards, including eliminating or mitigating risks resulting from inclement weather, such as heavy rain and strong winds.

Employers in California are required to inspect their worksites for hazards and take appropriate steps to protect their employees, as specified in the Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) requirements. Possible measures may include using telework, if possible, and monitoring the weather and road conditions. Employers should review and update their Emergency Action Plans ahead of Hurricane Hilary to protect workers from the anticipated hazards. For those involved in disaster response, employers must provide effective training associated with the response and recovery operations that workers are likely to conduct.

Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary technical assistance to employers to improve their health and safety program and can be reached at (800) 963-9424.

Additional Resources: 
Our state agency partner at the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) has developed and posted resources for the public and provides breaking information on their social media channels below:



Other Resources: 

National Weather Service: 

Cal/OSHA has a toll-free call center (833) 579-0927 that is staffed by bilingual agents to assist workers with questions related to severe weather and other Cal/OSHA-related questions, such as what steps their employer must take to protect workers. Complaints about workplace safety and health hazards can be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices.

For additional information on workers' rights, employer responsibilities, and other services Cal/OSHA offers, visit Cal/OSHA's Publications page