California: Heat Illness Prevention Seminars

Last June, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board approved new heat illness prevention regulations in response to heat-related deaths in the state. To make employers and supervisors fully aware of the new standards, the nonprofit State Compensation Insurance Fund is partnering with the Cal/OSHA Consultation Service to present seminars throughout California on heat illness prevention for outdoor work.

The first in a series of 19 seminars will be held May 1 in Stockton, Calif., in both Spanish and English.

In 2006, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) investigated a number of cases of heat-related illness in California, including fatalities and hospitalization of workers. Cal/OSHA created the new standard – Heat Illness Prevention Regulation 3395 – with requirements that employers must follow to protect their employees from heat exposure hazards.

The seminars are free and open to current State Fund policyholders. The seminars will feature a speaker from the State Compensation Insurance Fund Loss Control Department and the Cal/OSHA Consultation Service.

Seminars Will Show Attendees How to Comply with Standard

Attendees will learn how heat illness prevention applies to their employees and how they can meet the Cal/OSHA standard by updating and implementing an injury and illness prevention program to reflect the new requirements.

Every workshop will include a presentation on heat illness prevention and the importance of having an effective heat injury and illness prevention program.

At the seminars, attendees will learn how to:

  • Understand and comply with California's heat illness prevention regulation
  • Update their injury and illness prevention programs with the heat illness prevention requirements.
    • Identify and evaluate heat exposure hazards and other risk factors.
    • Provide remedies such as water, shade and rest breaks to mitigate heat hazards.
    • Implement an emergency action response plan.
    • Train employees to recognize heat illness.
  • Obtain the information and tools to create an effective injury and illness prevention program, if one is not already in place.

“Summer heat is potentially deadly even if an employee is working outdoors for only a short period of time,” said State Fund Safety and Health Services Manager Lauren Mayfield. “Even if employers already have an injury and illness prevention program in place, it's essential to meet the state's new requirement, and to train supervisors and employees how to prevent heat exposure and heat-related illness.”

A detailed list of all scheduled dates, time and locations of the seminars are available on State Fund's Web site.

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