FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 4, 2010
Cal/OSHA Implements Updated Heat Safety Regulations
Oakland, CA – As a national leader in workplace safety, Cal/OSHA today implements updated safety standards for employees working in outdoor heat. The revisions to the Heat Illness Prevention Standard, approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board on Aug. 19, became effective today. The revised standards provide clarification of the shade requirement, including temperature triggers and address high-heat requirements.
“Today we continue as a national safety leader in strengthening the standards that safeguard outdoor workers,” said Department of Industrial Relations Director John C. Duncan. “Fostering behavior change is a key step to ensure a safer work environment. Our practice of measuring those behavioral changes is one that should be viewed by other states and OSHA as a useful method for gauging the impact of our efforts.”
“The amendments that became effective today represent important measures to clarify and strengthen the heat illness prevention standard,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Len Welsh. “Our efforts in enforcement, outreach and educational partnerships over the last five years have paid off. We have seen significant behavior change resulting in a compliance increase among employers inspected from 35 to 85 percent.”
Under the leadership of Governor Schwarzenegger, in 2005, California became the first state in the nation to develop a safety and health regulation to protect workers from heat illness. Labor Code Section 3395 became effective in 2006. The regulations include providing employees with water, shade and rest as well as heat illness training for employees and supervisors.
Cal/OSHA is the employee health and safety division of the Department of Industrial Relations. For more information on heat illness prevention and training materials visit the Cal/OSHA Web site at http://www.dir.ca.gov/heatillness. Educational materials including a safety DVD on heat illness prevention are also available in English, Spanish, Hmong, Punjabi and Mixteco on the Calor Web site, at http://www.99calor.org/english.html. Employees with work-related questions or complaints, including heat illness, may call the California Workers’ Information Hotline at (877) 99-CALOR (877-992-2567).
# # #