Tune up your Heat Illness Prevention Program

Heat Illness Prevention 4 Steps

April 5, 2013 Update:

Cal/OSHA launches its 2013 Heat Illness Prevention Campaign in Fresno during a press conference.

The summer of 2012 was the warmest on record in the State of California.  As a result, Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention Special Emphasis Program (SEP), designed to ensure that all workers in California are protected in outdoor workplaces, produced some interesting data for employers.  Employers should take note of the 2012 most frequently cited heat illness prevention standards and ensure that your company’s heat illness prevention programs and training are compliant before the temperatures begin to rise and Cal/OSHA begins its 2013 Heat Illness SEP efforts.

2012 Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Statistics

During 2012, Cal/OSHA continued to devote a high-level of resources to heat illness prevention and recorded the highest number of heat inspections in the history of the program.  Cal/OSHA has seen “general levels of compliance” increase throughout the State since the inception of the Heat Illness Prevention Standards, so it used a strategic approach to target non-compliant employers.  Cal/OSHA’s focus has been, and continues to be the agricultural and construction industries, with construction accounting for the greatest number of violations, as well as two confirmed fatalities during 2012.

2012 Most Frequently Cited Heat Illness Prevention Standards – Cal/OSHA Title 8 Section 3395

1.  Heat Illness Prevention written program

  • Not written program provided
  • Missing program elements
  • Non-existent program

2.  Violations of high heat provisions
3.  Lack of employee training
4.  Provision for water

  • No water available at the worksite
  • Inadequate access to water

2013 Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Special Emphasis Plan 

Cal/OSHA will continue to have its special emphasis program on Heat Illness Prevention during 2013.  Specifically, Cal/OSHA plans to place its focus on the construction and agriculture industries.  All inspections of outdoor workplaces will include the following:

  • In-depth review of Heat Illness Prevention Program
  • Review of Heat Illness Prevention training records for supervisors and employees
  • Workplace inspection to ensure that adequate potable water and shade are easily accessible to workers
  • Local emphasis placed on Heat Illness Prevention during high-heat conditions
  • Focused and coordinated inspections
  • Inspections based on worker complaints
  • Inspections in response to suspected heat illness accidents or fatalities

Heat Illness Prevention Resources

The OSHA Training Center has developed a Heat Illness Prevention resource page which contains a collection of heat illness prevention resources to help your employees cope with the heat and to help your business stay compliant with OSHA’s regulations.  Some of the resources on the Heat Illness Prevention resource page include sample Heat Illness Prevention procedures,  Heat Illness Prevention powerpoints, heat illness symptomssupervisors’ daily checklists,  Heat Illness Prevention videos and many more valuable resources.  Visit the Heat Illness Prevention resource page for a complete listing of all the available resources.

If you have additional Heat Illness Prevention questions, get them answered by the professionals at the OSHA Training Center during a Cal/OSHA construction Standards or Cal/OSHA General Industry Standards course at the OSHA Training Center.  The OSHA Training Center at Chabot-Las Positas Community College District is authorized by OSHA to deliver their safety training courses for construction, general industry, maritime, and Cal/OSHA throughout California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, Guam, and American Samoa.  Contact us at 866-936-6742 for additional information or visit our website at www.osha4you.com.

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