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California’s heat exhaustion laws

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2023 | Harassment & Discrimination, Wage & Hour Law

Do you work outside in California? You have probably experienced some extreme heat and air quality challenges during your work day in the summer.

However, California adopted new heat safety regulations for employers to provide to their employees. This is what you should know.

Weather monitoring

Your company should have someone watching the weather two weeks in advance and every day. Your supervisors should use this information to plan your outdoor work, including cutting days short or changing work hours so you do not work in dangerous temperatures.

Shade provision

If the weather will or has hit 80 degrees or higher, someone in your company needs to find or erect shade structures for anyone who works outside before the workday starts. Shade does not qualify if it does not drop the heat. These structures should also be large enough for everyone on the job site to fit under them and portable so you can move them as close to the worksite as possible.

Your supervisor or another person in your company should evaluate the effectiveness of natural shade areas, such as trees or other vegetation throughout the day as the shade shifts. Your employer also needs to show you where you can find these structures before you begin working.

Rest and recovery periods given

Your organization should have a heat illness prevention plan and provide training on the special precautions you should take in high heat. However, you can take rest and recovery breaks out of the sun. Someone should also monitor your heat level.

Water provision

You should also have free access to fresh, clean and cool drinking water. You should receive at least one quart per hour.

Although you need to take steps to protect your health, your employer also has clearly defined responsibilities.