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California Passes Bill for Protections When Working In Heat

You are currently viewing California Passes Bill for Protections When Working In Heat
Restaurant and warehouse workers are the biggest concerns as heat rises.
  • Post category:News

Working indoors in any condition can be a bit difficult at times. When you have to work indoors in the summer it can be even worse. It is especially difficult for workplaces, such as restaurants, where, as the worker, you are moving around a lot. Oftentimes, as well in places like restaurants, additional heat is generated while cooking and using the kitchen appliances. This all works together to make working indoors in the summer months a pretty hard feat. However, a California organization has now passed a ruling that will change that and provide more protection to employees working in these conditions.

The California workplace safety board responsible for the rule is the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board.

The official ruling requires employers, in most cases, to implement ways to reduce the risk of extreme heat for employees who are working indoors. The rules specifically apply to all employers aside from state prisons and local jails. Because of their working conditions, the rule is expected to be most strictly enforced in warehouses, restaurants, and manufacturers.

The ruling was approved by the safety board in a unanimous decision. Because of the nature of these rulings and administrative delays, it is not expected to take effect until October. However, with their approval, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board is also calling on the Office of Administrative Law to expedite the process and have it take effect by August. The board wants to provide as many reprieves to workers as possible, hoping to get the ball rolling on the bill for peak summer heat.

The measure includes temperature restrictions.

Under the rules set by the safety board, if the workplace is 82 degrees of higher, the employers must provide areas for cooling and have programs in place to monitor heat illnesses. If the workplace is 87 degrees or higher and the employee is working near a heat source or is required to wear restrictive clothing due to the nature of their job, there are other things the business must do. The business must, if possible, cool the worksite to 82 degrees or lower. They must adjust the work schedules of employees and provide more breaks. With this, if possible, they must also rotate employees at tasks to limit longtime exposure to the heat. Finally, if needed, they must provide things such as personal fans, cooling vests, or other protective cooling equipment.

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