Requirements And Guidance For Heat Illness Prevention
The requirements and guidance for heat illness prevention in the workplace are:
-All employers who have employees working in outdoor places of employment must have a written heat illness prevention plan and implement effective procedures for the prevention of heat illness
-The plan must be employer-specific and be available on site or immediately available on request of the employee or the Division
-Heat illness prevention plan, at a minimum, must include:
a. Procedures for providing sufficient water.
b. Procedures for providing access to shade.
c. High-heat procedures.
d. Emergency response procedures.
e. Acclimatization methods and procedures.
-The plan shall be in writing in both English and the language understood by the majority of the employees
-Procedures for providing sufficient water
a. Sufficient amounts of fresh, pure, and suitably cool
potable water shall be available at all times.
b. Provide at least one quart per employee per hour for the entire shift.
c. If individual water containers are provided, the containers must be clean, and a source of potable water must be readily available.
d. Water from unpermitted/unlicensed or non-tested water sources must not be used.
Notes: Permits for public water systems are granted by the California State Water Resources Control Board (www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinking_water/certlic/drinkingwater/Permits.shtml)
Licensing of bottled/vended water source is regulated by the California Department of Public Health (www.cdph.ca.gov/pubsforms/Pages/fdbBVWfaq.aspx)
e. If hoses or connections are used, they must meet the requirements for potable drinking water system as per California Health and Safety Code section 114205- 114242.
f. During hot weather, the water must be cooler than the ambient temperature.
Note: Do not have water so cool as to cause discomfort.
g. Place water as close as practicable to where employees are working. For example, on a multi-story construction site, place water in a safely accessible location on every floor where employees are working.
h. Remind workers to drink water often and not to wait until they are thirsty to drink.
i. Provide water at no cost to the workers.
-Procedures for providing access to shade
Provide shade to employees during breaks and preventative cool down rest periods by taking following measures:
When outdoor temperature is 80°F or less:
a. Have shade available and provide shade or timely access to shade upon request.
b. It helps to have the shade erected if the weather is hot enough that the shade can help employees to cool off.
When outdoor temperature exceeds 80°F:
a. Have one or more areas with shade at all times while employees are present. If no other shade is readily available, erect shade structures immediately.
b. It is a good idea to set up the shade in advance if at 5:00 p.m. the night before, the temperature is predicted to exceed 80°F.
Perform frequent checks of the temperature at the worksite because you need to set up the shade immediately if the temperature exceeds 80°F. It is a good idea to check the temperature hourly
Place the shade structure as close as practicable to the areas where employees are working
Permit employees to access shade at all times
Provide enough shade to accommodate all employees:
a. who are on recovery and rest period breaks, and
b. who choose to remain in areas designated for recovery and rest periods during their meal periods.
Erect additional structures on an as-needed basis
Encourage employees to take a cool-down rest in the shade when they feel the need to do so to protect themselves from overheating
Have water available in the rest area so that employees are encouraged to drink more water
When it is not possible to erect a shade structure, you may provide alternative cooling measures that offer equivalent protection. Exceptions to 3395(d)(1) and(d)(2)
Monitor the employee on cool-down rest and ask if he or she is experiencing any symptoms of heat illness, including simple fatigue
If an employee exhibits or complains of any sign or symptom of heat illness, initiate first-aid procedures without delay
Encourage the employee on cool-down rest to remain in the shade for 5 or more minutes as needed
a. Implement high-heat procedures when the temperature equals or exceeds 95°F.
b. Train all employees to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat illness and allow them to call for emergency medical services when necessary.
c. Train all employees to stay in contact, observe each other, and immediately report any signs/symptoms of heat illness.
d. Observe and monitor employees for alertness and signs or symptoms of heat illness by implementing one or more of the following:
Supervisor or designee observation of 20 or fewer employees
Mandatory buddy system
Regular communication with sole employee using radio or cellular phone
Other effective means of observation
e. Contact employees regularly.
f. Designate one or more employees on each worksite as authorized to call for emergency medical services.
g. Remind employees throughout the work shift to drink plenty of water.
h. Provide close supervision to new employees as they may have less or no acclimatization.
i. Conduct pre-shift meetings to review the high-heat procedures and to remind employees to drink plenty of water and take a cool-down rest when necessary.
-Emergency Response Procedures
Employers are required to implement effective emergency response procedures in the workplace. Requirements and guidance include the following:
a. Maintain effective communication by voice, observation, or electronic means.
b. Take immediate action if any signs or symptoms of heat illness in any employee is observed or reported.
c. Implement emergency response procedures if the signs or symptoms indicate severe heat illness.
d. Do not leave the employee exhibiting signs or symptoms of heat illness alone or send them home without offering onsite first aid and/or providing emergency medical services.
e. Contact emergency medical services and, if necessary, transport employees to a place where they can be reached by an emergency medical provider.
f. In the event of an emergency, make sure that clear and precise directions to the worksite are provided to emergency responders.
g. If you have mobile crews, provide the emergency medical provider a map of the crew's location or detailed direction.
-Acclimatization methods and procedures
a. Make sure that all employees are observed by a supervisor or designee during a heat wave.
Note: A “heat wave” means any day in which the predicted high temperature for the day will be at least 80°F and at least 10°F higher than the average daily high temperature in the preceding 5 days.
b. Have a supervisor or designee closely observe any employee who has been newly assigned to a high heat area for the first 14 days of the employment.
c. Be extra-vigilant in employee monitoring during heat waves and when new employees are on the job.
d. Training of employees and supervisors 3395(h).
Training of employees and supervisors in your heat illness prevention plans and procedures is extremely important for the prevention of heat illness at the workplace.
Make sure that employees and supervisors are trained before any anticipated exposure to the risk of heat illness.
Provide training when an employee is hired.
Provide refresher training as needed.
Note: Training that is given close in time to the hot season is more effective than training given during colder seasons without follow-up refresher training.
e. Cover general and site/work-specific topics in the training including:
• All procedures in your heat illness prevention plan, including procedures for providing water, shade and cool-down rests, high heat, emergency response, and acclimatization
• The concept, importance, and methods of acclimatization
• The different types of heat illness and the common signs and symptoms of heat illness
• Appropriate first aid and/or emergency response for the different types of heat illness, and how to access
• Provide the training in a language the employees understand
• Ensure that the work procedures are consistent with the information provided in the training
• Maintain records of the training
Have a suitable number of trained persons to render first aid. Typical first aid methods for heat exhaustion and heat stroke:
a. Give first aid for heat exhaustion, lay the person down flat in a cool environment, loosen their clothing, and give them plenty of water to drink.
b. Give first aid for heat stroke, immediately start aggressive cooling of the person and get them to a hospital right away. Cooling can include placing cool wet towels on the trunk, arms, and legs while refreshing the cooling towels every few minutes.
-Ways to prevent heat illness also include:
a. Monitoring the weather forecast ahead of time and planning accordingly.
b. Timing the heaviest workload for the coolest part of the workday.
c. Starting work early in the morning.
d. Providing training on heat stress including prevention, recognition, and first aid as a part of the employer's IIPP. 3203, 3400, 3439
Note: For more information on Heat Illness Prevention, see Cal/OSHA's Heat Illness Prevention eTool at www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/etools/08-006/index.htm.