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Summer Is Here…And It’s Hot!

15 Aug

With the heat of summer in full swing, California employers covered by CA Regulations  Code, (Title 8, Section 3395) who have employees who work outdoors should review their practices to ensure that they are complying with current Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention requirements.

With the High Heat conditions we are experiencing now, Cal/OSHA will be Watching and Inspecting employers to ensure that they follow this heat-related regulations:

  • Free, Cool Water
  • Access to Shade
  • High-Heat Procedures (written)
  • Training for Employees (documented)
  • Emergency Response Procedures (written)
  • Acclimatization
  • Heat Illness Prevention Plan (written)

If you have not already done so, every California employer should develop and implement an effective Heat Illness Prevention Plan for their employees, including:

  1. Procedures for providing sufficient water
  2. Procedures for providing access to shade
  3. High-heat procedures
  4. Emergency response procedures
  5. Acclimatization methods and procedures

These regulations are for the employer’s protection and employees.  

Enforcement of these Heat Illness laws is intensifying, which means employers  can’t afford to ignore them!

These regulations are for the employer’s protection as well as the employees. Enforcement of these Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Laws is intensifying, which means that employers cannot afford to ignore them!

Cal Work Safety understands the Title 8, Section 3395CA Regulations Code

Contact our team of experts….
We know the latest regulations and can help you implement internal programs to keep you compliant and safe from huge penalties.:

Call: 949-533-3742 or email:

DonDressler1@hotmail.com  

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Not Too Hot to Handle: Tips for Preventing Heat-Induced Illnesses and Injuries

28 Jul

Late July brings some of the hottest temperatures of the year around the country, certainly we are feeling it in Southern California. So it’s a good time for some refreshing refresher training on how your workers can beat the heat. Also, we have Cal/OSHA regulations requiring a written plan for dealing with heat illness, training, providing water and shade for all outdoor employees, including truck drives and dock employees.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) warns that heat-induced occupational illnesses, injuries, and reduced productivity can occur with excessive exposure to a hot work environment.

Heat-induced disorders include:

Transient heat fatigue,
Heat rash,
Fainting,
Heat cramps,
Heat exhaustion, and
Heatstroke.

Aside from these disorders, heat poses the threat of injuries because of accidents caused by slippery palms as a result of sweating, fogged-up safety glasses, and dizziness. Severe burns can also occur as a direct result of accidental contact with hot surfaces and steam.

NIOSH has assembled a number of handouts and other resources with information on heat-induced occupational illnesses, injuries, and reduced productivity, as well as methods that can be taken to reduce risk.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also provides helpful tips as to how individuals can avoid heat-related illness. That advice includes:

Take extra care of new employees, as they have not become “acclimatized” meaning their bodies have not adapted to working in heat. All of us need to adjust when temperatures or humidity rise suddenly.

Drink more fluids, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him or her how much you should drink while the weather is hot. Drink a cup of water every 15 minutes during the peak working and hot times.

Don’t drink liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar: These actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.

Cool off when needed, even a few minutes spent in shade or a cooler are can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Take a break in shade whenever feeling heat stress, even if it is only a short while. Do not wait until the official rest break.

Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.

Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others:

Infants and young children
People aged 65 or older
People who have a mental illness
Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure

Why It Matters

Heat illnesses can be very serious—even deadly.
Your workers need to know how to protect themselves from the heat both on and off the job.
As the summer wears on, workers may think they’ve gotten used to the heat and not be as cautious; continue to give them frequent reminders and brief training sessions all summer long to keep everyone safe.

Don Dressler Consulting can help you with writing your heat illness prevention plan, training materials, posters and other ways to keep your employees safe and OSHA compliant.

Just check our websites: http://www.dondressler.com and http://www.calworksafety.com

Heat Illness A High Priority for OSHA

23 Jun

While it is still too early to tell what the 2013 summer weather will be, we can look back on 2012 as the hottest year for California is recorded history.  Despite the hot weather last year, Cal/OSHA investigated 3 occupationally related heat deaths (but none in agriculture), but also 48 heat related illnesses.  Overall, Cal/OSHA conducted almost 3,900 inspections in enforcing its heat illness program standards.

Cal/OSHA issued 1,069 citations in 2012, primarily for lack of written plans to deal with heat illness (788), lack of employee training regarding heat illness (246) and lack of provisions of water (101).

All during 2013 Cal/OSHA will again be conducting vigorous enforcement, so employers need to be aware and prepared for compliance. Key requirements are:

1.       Water – 1 quart of water per hour per employee is the law.  Have the water as close to the employees as possible.

2.       Shade – available upon request. No more than a 2 minute walk from employees when the temperature is 85 F or higher, sufficient for 25% of employees to relax without sitting on the ground.

3.       Training – taught the dangers and symptoms of heat illness, BEFORE working outside. Informed of what to do when experiencing heat illness and how to summon emergency responders to work site.  Supervisors require additional training.

4.       High heat – when temperatures are 95 F or higher, frequently remind employees to drink water, observe new employees, maintain communications with employees.

For more complete information, see http://www.dir.ca.gov/DOSH/HeatIllnessInfo.html

You can also email DonDressler1@hotmail.com with any questions or for a sample heat illness prevention plan.

Time to Plan and Train for Heat Illness

11 May

Depending on where you live and work, you may already have experienced warm weather, and even heat alerts. Now is the time to plan for and train your employees about heat illness.
This is a legal requirement in California, Washington and a few other states, and was the 2nd leading cause for Cal/OSHA citations in 2012.
So what do you need to know and do?
#1- have a written plan to deal with heat illness for all employees who work outside, even if they only work outside a portion of their time. #2- train employees about the risks of heat illness, how to prevent heat illness and what to do about it; #3- ensure that employees know the importance of drinking adequate amounts of water and have access to water; #4- make sure employees recognize the signs of heat illness and have shade to rest to cover from the symptoms. Encourage them to respond to any signs of heat illness; #5- have plans for how you will respond with emergency medical help for employees who suffer heat distress; and #6- make sure your managers and supervisors receive training on heat illness, the importance of water, shade, and how to respond to signs of distress.
The early days on the job, and the first days of warm weather, particularly if the humidity is high, are the most critical. Employees need to “acclimate” to the heat conditions. Almost all heat illnesses occur on the first few days of hot weather or first days on the job.
For more specific training or information, email me at DonDressler1@hotmail.com for a free copy of a power point Heat Illness training program or visit the California Department of Industrial Relations website at: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/heatillnessinfo.html

New YouTube Video Available For Safety Training For Your Workers Regarding Heat Illness

20 Aug

The summer is not over, and employers have a continuing obligation under OSHA, particularly California employers under the Cal/OSHA heat illness prevention rules, to train employees about the dangers of heat illness and how to protect themselves. You have a new tool to help in that effort: an on line video on YouTube.com presented by Don Dressler Consulting and www.CalWorkSafety.com.

Check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnrwrewOaGE.  This is a fast paced information packed video using power point material designed for your employees on the very first day on the job.

A “NO Vote” on AB 2346 Heat Illness – A Job Killer of a Proposal

25 Jul

This August, the California State Senate is considering AB 2346- a JOB KILLER bill regarding heat illness. The bill goes beyond current heat illness regulations to impose the following obligations, but only on agricultural employers, not on construction, landscaping or any other out of doors work:

  1. Each employee shall have continuous, ready access, as
    close as possible and at a distance of no more than 10 feet from
    where he or she is working, to fresh, pure, and suitably cool potable
    drinking water
  2. “The temperature of the water shall be 70 degrees or lower at all times.”
  3. “Shaded area shall be located as close as practicable to the areas where employees are working, and in no event shall be at a distance greater than 200 feet away from any employee.
  4. The amount of shade provided shall be enough to accommodate all of the employees on the shift at any time

Continue reading

Society of Safety Engineer Offer Tips To Prevent Heat Illness

22 Jun

Each year, thousands of outdoor workers experience heat illness, which often manifests as heat exhaustion. If not quickly addressed, heat exhaustion can become heat stroke.

To prevent heat-related work injuries and illnesses, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) suggests employers and employees take safety precautions and be aware of factors that can lead to heat stress, the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, ways to prevent heat stress, and what can be done for heat-related illnesses.

Each year, thousands of outdoor workers experience heat illness, which often manifests as heat exhaustion. If not quickly addressed, heat exhaustion can become heat stroke. Continue reading