Despite extreme opposition from agricultural groups and other employer groups, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board approved significant revisions to the state’s heat illness prevention standard. The Board voted to approve the changes on a 5 to 1 vote.
The new revisions include the following major changes:
- – The procedures now kick in at 80 degrees, instead of the current 85
- – Shade must now cover 100% of those employees working during recovery or rest periods, and onsite meal periods, instead of the current 25%.
- – High-heat procedures now include a mandatory 10 minute cool-down period every two hours.
That means that employers must revise their heat illness programs and train employees on an accelerated schedule, with barely two months before the changes become enforceable. Normally, these changes would go into effect on July 1st, but Cal/OSHA is asking the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) to move these up to as early as April 1st. Training must be provided and the Association will be working with its members to assist in this effort, and to make sure their Heat Illness Plan are updated.