Heat-Illness Prevention Regulations Made Permanent
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Thursday announced that heat-illness regulations enacted last year are now permanent, the Merced Sun-Star reports (Albrecht, Merced Sun-Star, 7/28).
Under the rules, employers are required to train supervisors to recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses. In addition, workers must have 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 (California Healthline, 8/3/05).
California is the only state with heat-illness regulations, according to Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Vickie Bradshaw (Merced Sun-Star, 7/28).
Schwarzenegger said he is "directing the state to vigorously pursue investigations of violations of the" regulations (Office of the Governor release, 7/27). Since the regulations were adopted, the state has collected $250,000 in fines from employers who did not comply with them, Bradshaw said (Stockton Record, 7/28).
In related news, the ongoing heat wave in California is the suspected cause of more than 100 deaths in the state since it began nearly two weeks ago, the New York Times reports.
Schwarzenegger said state health officials are working to make sure vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, are taking proper precautions against the heat (Steinhauer, New York Times, 7/28).