California Indoor Heat Stress
In November 2015, the California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board has ruled in favor of Cal/OSHA’s citations against two employers because their Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (IIPP) failed to effectively address the hazard of indoor heat.
“This is the first case of indoor heat considered by the Appeals Board. In this case, the ruling affirms that California’s IIPP standard can be used to address hazards that the standard does not specifically identify, including indoor heat,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR).
On September 29, 2016, Governor Brown signed a bill that directs Cal/OSHA to create a regulation protecting employees of indoor workplaces from heat illness. Section 6720 was added to SB 1167 requiring that a proposed rule be submitted to Cal/OSHA standards board by January 1, 2019. The standard would apply to all indoor work areas where the temperature equals or exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit when employees are present.
On-the-job heat exposure is a risk during operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources, high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities. Affected workplaces may include foundries, brick-firing and ceramic plants, glass products facilities, rubber products plants, electric utilities, commercial kitchens, laundries, chemical plants, and smelters.
OSHA emphasizes that while thousands of workers become sick each year from occupational heat exposure, the illnesses and deaths that can result are preventable.
All in One Poster Company designed the California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Work Environments to address this problem. Our poster contains steps to prevent heat illness, types of heat illnesses and treatments, and steps that both employees and employers can take to address this issue and create a plan of action.