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Release Number: 2023-56
Date: August 4, 2023

High Heat Hazard Alert: Employers Must Protect Workers from Heat Illness

Cal/OSHA Conducting Targeted Inspections in High Hazard Industries

San Bernardino—Cal/OSHA is reminding all employers to protect workers from heat illness as high temperatures are forecast throughout the state and the National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings for some areas.

“Cal/OSHA will be visiting worksites in agriculture, construction, landscaping and warehousing industries to make sure employers are taking the necessary steps to protect workers” said Cal/OSHA Chief Jeff Killip. “One strategy employers can use as part of their heat illness prevention plan is to start work earlier in the day to avoid the hottest temperatures.”

Some of the highest temperatures on Sunday and Monday include:

Imperial County: 114°F Palm Springs: 114°F
Redding: 109°F Sacramento: 106°F
Modesto: 107°F Stockton: 106°F
Bakersfield: 106°F Fresno: 107°F
Los Angeles: 91°F San Bernardino: 103°F

In indoor workplaces, employers must correct unsafe conditions for workers created by heat as part of their Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP).

Employers with outdoor workers in all industries must encourage workers to understand and exercise their rights related to heat illness prevention, such as taking a cool-down rest when necessary.

Details on heat illness prevention requirements and training materials are available online on Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention web page and the www.99calor.org informational website. A Heat Illness Prevention online tool is also available on Cal/OSHA’s website.

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 32 ounces per hour, and encourage workers to do so.
  • Rest – Encourage workers to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least five minutes when they feel the need to do so to protect themselves from overheating. Workers should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.
  • Shade – Provide proper shade when temperatures exceed 80 degrees. Workers have the right to request and be provided shade to cool off at any time.

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

Workers who have questions about heat illness prevention can call 833-579-0927 to speak with a live Cal/OSHA representative between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Complaints about workplace safety and health hazards can be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices.

Media Contact: Communications@dir.ca.gov, (510) 286-1161

Employers with Questions on Requirements May Contact: InfoCons@dir.ca.gov or call your local Cal/OSHA Consultation Office