Dangerous Heat All Week

 

Last updated 6/22/2015 at 4:37pm

H. De Vaux III

Frying eggs on a Borrego Springs road.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures from 15 to 25 degrees above normal are expected across southern California this week. On Tuesday, state workplace safety officials advised employers to protect their workers from heat-related illness throughout the week. California's ten year-old regulations pertaining to heat-illness prevention have recently been amended. Cal/OSHA's guidance for employers on the new requirements include:

Training for all employees and supervisors about heat-illness prevention.

Provision of cool, fresh water as close as is practical near the work area at no cost to workers.

Shade provided whenever the temperature rises above 80 degrees, and enough shade to accommodate the number of workers taking a break.

Encouragement of employees to take cool-down rests and monitoring for symptoms of heat illness.

Acclimatization to ensure that workers, especially new hires, safely adapt to increased temperatures during a heat wave.

Extra requirements come into play when temperatures reach 95 degrees or higher. Then supervisors have to follow special high-heat procedures with the following precautions:

Observe workers for signs and symptoms of heat illness.

Hold pre-shift meetings on safety and remind workers to drink water frequently.

Require that workers take a cool-down rest every two hours.

Ensure effective communication systems are in place so that emergency assistance can be summoned immediately if necessary.