California Heat and Cold laws & safety compliance analysis

California Heat and Cold: What you need to know

Comparison: State vs Federal

California has adopted requirements for heat stress (heat illness) prevention that are stricter than federal requirements. The state’s stricter requirements include a definition for heat illness, written safety procedures to prevent heat illness, access to drinking water, access to shade, and employee training.

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The state rule for cold storage, processing, and manufacturing rooms regulates the method of escape from such rooms, and there is no federal rule that covers the same topic.

California’s Department of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) administers and enforces the state workplace safety and health requirements for private and public (state and local government operations) sector workplaces.

State Requirements
8 CCR 3395

Employers must control the risk of the occurrence of occupational heat illness in employees. Often, such workplace occurrences are related to high temperatures in outdoor workplaces.

“Heat illness” defined. According to the rule, heat illness is “a serious medical condition resulting from the body’s inability to cope with a particular heat load and includes heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat syncope, and heat stroke.”

“Heat wave” defined. Heat wave means any day in which the predicted high temperature for the day will be at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit (°F) and at least 10°F higher than the average high daily temperature in the preceding 5 days.

Access to Drinking Water

Employees must have access to drinking water, including, but not limited to, the requirements that it be fresh, pure, suitably cool, and provided to employees free of charge. The water must be located as close as practicable to the areas where employees are working. When access is ...

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