Heat Illness Prevention Resources
Despite the temperature indicated by your thermometer, it is time to get started on preparing your staff for the coming scorching summer temperatures. Heat illness is a potentially life threatening, progressive illness that is preventable if the proper precautions are taken.
What steps should you take to protect your employees from heat illness? Cal OSHA developed the Heat Illness Prevention standard to help protect employees from becoming victims of heat illness. Under this standard, employers in California who have employees working outdoors are required to:
- Develop a written Heat Illness Prevention Plan
- Train employees and supervisors regarding heat illness prevention
- Provide potable drinking water; and
- Provide access to shade
If you are missing some of these key elements, rest assured there are great resources available to assist you.
- Water. Rest. Shade. – This is an education and outreach program developed by Cal OSHA. It can be found at http://www.99calor.org/educational-resources/. Included in this program are a variety of resources including fact sheets, posters and training videos. These resources are also available in multiple languages.
- Heat Illness Prevention e-tool – This Cal OSHA tool walks you through the various required elements of a written Heat Illness Prevention Plan. Check out this e-tool on Cal OSHA’s website at: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/etools/08-006/index.htm.
- Heat Safety Tool App – This app was developed by the United States Department of Labor to be downloaded to your smartphone. The app calculates the heat index for your location and based on the index, provides risk level and precautions to be taken. Reminders can also be sent about precautions that should be taken to protect employees such as drinking enough fluids, taking breaks, etc. For more information about this application visit the US Department of Labor at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/heatillness/heat_index/heat_app.html or search for this app in your App Store on your smartphone.
As always, Golden State Risk Management Authority is happy to assist. If you have questions regarding Heat Illness Prevention, its requirements, or need assistance developing a program or training, please feel free to contact Mark Marshall or Jennifer Peters at email@example.com or at (530) 934-5633.
Remember, the best defense to heat illness is to prevent it from occurring, so get started now and make sure that you are ready.