With summer approaching, the state California is implementing new rules to protect outdoor workers. Revised heat safety regulations from Cal-OSHA take effect May 1st. Among the regulations, workers must have easy access to free, cool water. And supervisors and workers must also be trained to recognize and react to signs of heat illness.
Amy Martin is Chief Counsel of Cal-OSHA. She says the rules also require that shade be made available when the temperature reaches 80 degrees, which is five degrees cooler than the previous requirement.
Martin: “You can get heat illness as low as 70 degrees, depending on the conditions that you’re working under. But around 80 degrees is the point when you see a dramatic uptick in the incident rate of illness.”
Martin says the rules will affect a broad range of people, from farm workers and landscapers to amusement park employees.
Meteorologists are predicting a warmer-than-average summer for much of California.