Heat Illness Prevention for Outdoor Workers

Exposure to extremely hot weather can present dangerous conditions to employees. Due to the recent increase in temperature, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) warns California employers to protect outdoor workers from heat illness.

Employers are to:

  • Provide shade for outdoor workers when temperatures are higher than 80 degrees. The shade should be enough to accommodate the number of employees on their meal and rest breaks. Shade provided by the employers should not have obstacles or unpleasant conditions to reach it.
  • Provide fresh and cool water for employees to stay hydrated. Employers should encourage employees to drink water often and be allowed one quart of water or more per hour. The water should be clean drinking water. Water that is provided from non-approved or non-tested water sources are not permitted.
  • Train workers on how to recognize the symptoms of heat illness.
    • Common symptoms include dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, and fainting.
    • Training should be given to both employees and supervisors.
  • Allow new employees to accustom to high temperature conditions.
    • New employees are more likely to develop heat illness due to unfamiliarity with the environment.
  • Develop and train workers on emergency response procedures.
    • When an employee reports symptoms of heat illness, immediate action should be taken.
  • Implement high-heat procedures when the temperatures are 95 degrees or hotter.