Farming is a job where it’s possible to spend the entire day outside, and for some, this is paradise. However, when the mercury starts to rise, the risk of developing heat-related conditions increases as well.
This year is supposed to be one of the hottest years on record, which is why on June 1, the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health released a heat advisory that covers the entire state of California. Summer temperatures will likely surpass 100 degrees, the advisory noted, in an effort to remind employers to protect those workers who are exposed to the high heat conditions. The advisory also reminded employers that they need to be in compliance with Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention Standard.
Part of the standard requires that companies with outdoor workers write and implement heat illness prevention plans. The requirements also include the following:
— Employers must encourage employees to frequently drink water.
— Employers must provide sufficient fresh water so that all employees can drink four eight-ounce cups of water an hour.
— Water provided to employees must be suitably cool, pure, fresh and free.
— Water must be in close proximity to workers.
— Shade access must be provided for rest periods, except in special circumstances.
— Employees must be encouraged to take rest in the shade whenever they need to, and they cannot be ordered to return to work until they have confirmed that they are sufficiently cool.
— Employers must have first aid materials on hand to help with overheating issues.
There are a lot more requirements under Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard; the above are the most basic of them. If a California worker suffers a heat-related illness on the job, it is highly likely that he or she can seek Workers’ Compensation benefits. Workers felled by heat-induced illnesses can call today to speak with an experienced employee benefits attorney.