Summer is Coming – is Your Worksite Ready for the Heat? (ARCHIVE)

As temperatures rise, California law requires employers with outdoor employees to take steps to protect workers from heat illness. Shauna Correia reviews Cal/OSHA’s ‘Heat Illness Prevention Standards” for outdoor worksites in this episode of California Employment News.

Watch this episode on the Weintraub YouTube channel here.



Show Notes:


Hi. Thanks for joining me again here today on “California Employment News”. I’m Shauna Correia and today; I’m going to talk to you about heat illness standards. It may have seemed like winter was never going to end, but now that warm weather is approaching, now is the perfect time for those employers with outdoor employees to get prepared. Because California law requires employers to take steps to protect workers from heat illness. So, when the temperature reaches 80 degrees, Cal OSHA’s heat illness prevention standards kick in at outdoor work sites. And there are four basic requirements that employers need to be aware of. The four requirements whenever the temperature reaches 80 degrees are water, rest, shade, and training. With water, the employers must provide outdoor workers with access to free, cool, fresh drinking water, and they need to have at least one quart of water per employee per hour available to drink on those outdoor work sites. And rest: when it’s over 80 degrees outside, employees must have the opportunity to take cool-down rest breaks of at least five minutes whenever they feel the need to do so to prevent symptoms of heat illness. This is in addition to those regular meal periods that are 30 minutes and the 10 minutes rest periods.


For shade, this means having shade structures as close as possible to the working employees. The shade structures can be natural or artificial, but they need to be sufficient to provide shade to accommodate all of the employees who will be on a break at a given time. For training, Cal/OSHA requires written materials and notices. Companies should include heat illness training as part of your regular rotation of safety meetings, especially when the temperature starts to get warm. Whenever the temperature is going to exceed 80 degrees, supervisors will need to have a brief daily tailgate meeting to remind workers of their rights to encourage them to drink water and take breaks before they begin to suffer health effects. When the temperature is going to exceed 95 degrees, agriculture, and construction workers need to be provided additional scheduled water breaks, and four persons and supervisors need to hold pre-shift meetings, reminding employees to drink plenty of water and to take those cool-down rest breaks when they need to. Cal/OSHA has resources courses for free on its website, including posters and sample heat prevention procedures, and your Weintraub, Tobin labor and employment attorneys are here to help as well. Well, that’s all for today.


Thanks again for joining me, and please check out our website,, and our blog at, where you can find more installments of “California Employment News”. Thanks again.