OAKLAND, Calif. – Cal/OSHA advises employers that continued vigilance is essential as the extended heat wave continues with brutal temperatures forecast through Friday in Southern California and the Central Valley.
“Although some areas in the state are beginning to cool down, the extended heat wave in the Central Valley and Southern California will require employers to take special precautions. Rest, water, shade and increased vigilance are absolutely essential in high heat conditions,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Cal/OSHA is a division of DIR.
Cal/OSHA is actively investigating two outdoor worksite deaths that occurred during the heat wave: a 55-year-old construction worker died last Friday in Yuba City and a 30-year-old farmworker who had been working at a watermelon field southwest of Fresno near Coalinga in the Fresno region died yesterday. The investigations are ongoing and are pending determination of cause of death by the coroner.
“Cal/OSHA is out in force throughout the state, reviewing outdoor worksites to ensure that employers are following heat illness prevention regulations,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Ellen Widess. “Employers should know that workers who labor under excessive heat for extended periods of time are likely to exhibit fatigue more quickly than in shorter heat waves. The probability of serious heat illness for outdoor workers is much higher right now.”
California’s heat regulations require all employers with outdoor workers take basic steps to protect their workers:
Special “High Heat” procedures are also required when temperatures reach 95 degrees. Since workers are at greater risk, supervisors must take extra precautions:
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