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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

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Heat Illness by Year in California

8 Jun

Heat Illness by Year in Califonria

2012 is reported to be the warmest year on record, according to the Weather Service. In California already this spring, two worker deaths could be attributable to heat illness. And summer is still about two weeks away.

In all of 2011, there were two confirmed heat-related fatalities. There also were two in 2010, Cal/OSHA says they are placing their “highest priority” on heat illness prevention. DIR Director Christine Baker said on a June conference call that many employers are complying with the Cal/OSHA rules designed to prevent heat illness, but the agency has seen evidence that other employers “are still not providing basic protections to workers.”

Cal/OSHA is partnering with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, and the Labor Enforcement Task Force will target both agriculture and construction.

The latest suspected heat illness cases involved construction and agricultural workers. On June 1 in Coalinga, a 56-year-old farm worker collapsed while pruning suckers from pomegranate trees in high-heat conditions. Emergency responders were summoned but he died at a local medical center. The worker was an employee of Temp Handbody Farm Labor Service of Riverdale, according to the Department of Industrial Relations. Continue reading

For Heat Safety – It Is Already Summer!

27 Apr

Temperatures are starting to soar and Cal/OSHA is starting to roam the hottest areas of the state to ensure employers have implemented effective heat illness prevention programs.

Although it’s only April, the thermometer has hit triple digits in some parts of California. Last weekend Death Valley cooked at 113°F, Needles baked at 107°F and Palm Springs simmered at 104°F. Things cooled down considerably in the following days, but more hot weather is sure to come.

Cal/OSHA regulations require employers to have heat illness plans and training, shade and water, and be ready to handle any heat illness emergencies. Remember, 40% of all heat illnesses occur on the very first day an employee is at work, and 80% happen during the first 4 days on the job.  These rules apply to all outdoors employees, incuding truck drivers, police employees, as well as construction, landscaping and agricultureContinue reading

Cal/OSHA Stepping up Heat Illness Enforcement

22 Apr

Cal/OSHA Enforcement has begun their heat sweeps, kicking off the season on April 12th, 2012. Agriculture is a target industry with specific requirements in high heat. Also focus will be on construction and landscape maintenace.  

Now is the time to take the necessary steps to protect your workers and be in compliance!  Bring your written heat illness plan up to date, or prepare one if needed. Train employees before you allow a new worker to start work, and make sure formen and supervisors know the signs of heat illness and how to summon emergency help. 

See my website: www.DonDresler.com for more information or visit: California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH)’s site for Heatrelated illness prevention and information.at http://www.dir.ca.gov/DOSH/HeatIllnessInfo.html.

For information about a Heat Illness Plan for your company see: www.dondressler.com.