Does Your Heat Illness Prevention Program Comply?

Since the year 2010, Cal-OSHA and the Department of Labor have been working hard to make compliance with both California Labor Laws and Cal-OSHA a must. In 2008, Cal-OSHA began to enforce the Heat Illness Safety compliance that had been a law since 2005 or 2006. Even though this Heat Illness Prevention Program was required Cal-OSHA was not enforcing it until two pregnant women in their early twenties died of a heat-related illness in the summer of 2007. Later in that same year, an older Hispanic man died also from heat exposure. That was in 2007, and in 2008 the race was on. The first group of employers that had to comply was those who worked in agriculture and construction. Once that happened the Heat Illness Prevention Program enforcement had a life all it’s own with fine for non-compliance as high as $18,000.00.

In 2008 and 2009 so many people got fined that Cal-OSHA took this new program to Main Street. An outdoor business has been defined by Fed-OSHA as any building that has open bay doors, which would allow conditions in the building to be the same conditions that are outdoors. The Heat Illness Prevention Program standard kicks in when employees who work in temperatures starting at 80 degrees, with the requirement for shade. The maximum precautions kicking in at 95 degrees.

Employers need to provide the following:

  • Shade
  • Water equaling two gallons per eight-hour day
  • Training on how to identify heat related illnesses
  • A plan for employees to be transported to a medical facility if needed.
  • Offer 5 minute cool downs and recovery periods that are completely work free.

Each employer must customize all of these aspects to their company heat illness prevention plan explaining in writing how all of this will be carried out.

Phase two for Cal-OSHA Inspection procedures started with the heat illness prevention program, but continued on to the basic Illness and Injury Prevention Program that has been required since 1992.

The formally written Illness and Injury Prevention Program has eight areas of necessary compliance. If you would like to know more about those eight areas, you can check out some of the articles on our website or give us a call at 888-358-2221, and we will be happy to fill you in.

In the first quarter of 2014, Cal-OSHA decided they wanted employers to comply with every aspect of this program in a big way, in other words, it became something they would no longer ignore.

In addition to that. employers can no longer claim that they do not having to document in writing all of your Safety Training’s along with all other areas of the companies Illness and Injury Prevention Program. If you have one employee, you must now document everything and document everything in writing. What is everything? Here is a partial list:

  • Your random job site inspections
  • Your Safety Training Topics
  • Employees documenting hazards in the workplace
  • A written report explaining how you have abated or fixed the hazard.
  • These are just a few; if you are concerned, we will be happy to do a Free Cal-OSHA Mock Inspection for you.

The Department of Labor does not want to be out done so now The Department of Labor will team up with Cal-OSHA and the EPA and ride along together calling on employers. I bet you can only imagine how much fun that can be for the employer. Add to all of this the fact that Cal-OSHA feels that no employer can comply without the help of a consulting firm.

And to be honest with you, they are right. Employers left on their own will not comply unless they have too, and now they do. The fines can easily approach $50,000.00 or more, and this is just from Cal-OSHA. Miss classify your employers and the department of Labor will make you wish you had just stayed in bed the morning of their visit.

The good news is California Employers Services can help, and we are not afraid to prove it by offering you a free thirty-day membership; you might want to check us out a little further. We make compliance easy by actually visiting you job site twice a year to help you do what you don’t want to do but know that you must.

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  • Access to the Employers Hotline
  • Free Employee Handbook Audit
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  • Free Cal-OSHA Onsite Mock Inspection
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