Preventing and Responding to Heat Illness
Elements of Your Written Program and Effective Work Practices
EMERGENCY RESPONSE PROCEDURES
T8CCR 3395(f)(1) Training states the following:
(1) Employee training. Effective training in the following topics shall be
provided to each supervisory and non-supervisory employee before the employee
begins work that should reasonably be anticipated to result in exposure to the
risk of heat illness:
(G) The employer's procedures for responding to symptoms of possible heat
illness, including how emergency medical services will be provided should they
(H) The employer's procedures for contacting emergency medical services, and
if necessary, for transporting employees to a point where they can be reached by
an emergency medical service provider.
(I) The employer's procedures for ensuring that, in the event of an
emergency, clear and precise directions to the work site can and will be
provided as needed to emergency responders. These procedures shall include
designating a person to be available to ensure that emergency procedures are
invoked when appropriate.
T8CCR 3395(f)(2) Training states the following:
(2) Supervisor training. Prior to supervising employees performing work that
should reasonably be anticipated to result in exposure to the risk of heat
illness effective training on the following topics shall be provided to the
(C) The procedures the supervisor is to follow when an employee exhibits
symptoms consistent with possible heat illness, including emergency response
Cal/OSHA investigations (Study 2) showed that in 2006, 88% of
workplaces where heat illness occurred did not have adequate Emergency
Response procedures set up in advance.
Cal/OSHA investigations (Study 1) showed that in 2005, 64% of the
workplaces where heat illness occurred did not have any Emergency Response
Procedures set up in advance to respond to a heat illness emergency.
Emergency Response Procedures
Your Emergency Response Procedures must provide for a rapid response from
worksite certified first aid personnel (see T8 CCR 1512, 3400, 3421, 3439, 6251)
to initially evaluate potential heat illness victims and if
necessary summon emergency medical responders in a timely fashion. These
procedures must be in writing and set up in advance of your employees working in
warm or in hot conditions. The following measures will help ensure that your
Emergency Response Procedures are effective at preventing or responding to Heat
- Training for employees and supervisors contains all the content from
your written emergency response procedures.
- Prior to assigning a crew to a particular worksite, a designated person
provides workers and the foreman a map along with clear and precise
directions (such as streets or road names, distinguishing features and
distances to major roads) of the site, to avoid any delay of emergency
- Prior to the start of the shift, a designated person determines if a
language barrier is present at the site and take steps (such as assigning
the responsibility to call emergency medical services to the foreman or an
English speaking worker) to ensure that emergency medical services can be
immediately called in the event of an emergency.
- Foremen or supervisors carry cell phones, walkie-talkies, two way
radios, satellite phones or other means of communication, to ensure that
emergency medical services can be promptly summoned. Prior to each shift,
the means of communication is checked to ensure they function at the
- At remote locations such as rural farms, lots or undeveloped areas a
designated person directs:
- An employee to physically go to the nearest road or highway where
emergency responders can see them. or
- Employees to transport the Heat Illness victim to a point where they
can be picked up by emergency medical services.
Note: If daylight is diminished, employees finding emergency
response personnel or transporting victims will be given a reflective
vest or a flashlight.
- Supervisors, employees, and designated persons are informed about their
work site address or location, and updated whenever work locations change
during the work shift.
- The location(s) of medical treatment facilities or alternate locations
where emergency medical services have been pre-arranged are made know to
supervisors and employees.
- Employees and supervisors closely watch each other to know their
whereabouts and to ensure that no one falls ill or becomes sick or missing
without being noticed
- Employees recognized as having any of the symptoms of heat illness are
never left alone, allowed to leave the worksite or sent home without medical
- Handling of employees with possible signs or symptoms of heat illness:
- A certified first aid person checks the employee and determine
whether resting in the shade, drinking cool water, removing excess
layers of clothing and first aid procedures such as placing ice packs
and fanning the victim prevent heat illness from developing (see
and Other Cooling Measures), or if emergency medical services need to be