Emergency Rules To Address Heat-Related Illnesses Approved
The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board on Friday voted unanimously to adopt emergency regulations to address heat-related illnesses among California workers, the Sacramento Bee reports (Wasserman, Sacramento Bee, 8/13).
The Office of Administrative Law must approve the rules within 10 days for them to take effect (Fitzenberger, Fresno Bee, 8/13). If approved by OAL, the rules would remain in effect for four months.
The rules would require employers to:
- Train supervisors to recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses;
- Provide workers access to shade for at least a five-minute "recovery time" if they experience symptoms of heat stroke, including headache, muscle cramps, vomiting and weakness;
- Provide a quart of water for every employee each hour they work; and
- Establish procedures to contact ambulances and guide them to their fields (Sacramento Bee, 8/13).
State officials will develop permanent rules with an advisory committee by the end of September. State officials will discuss indoor heat, the definition of shade, which conditions trigger the rules, the length of rest periods and how to improve the response of emergency personnel.
The permanent rules could be developed within the next 120 to 240 days (Fresno Bee, 8/13).