Occupational heat exposure for indoor workplaces is a risk during operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources, high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities. Affected workplaces may include foundries, brick-firing and ceramic plants, glass products facilities, rubber products plants, electric utilities, commercial kitchens, laundries, chemical plants, and smelters.
Cal-OSHA emphasizes that while thousands of workers become sick each year from occupational heat exposure, the illnesses and deaths that can result are preventable.
Our California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Work Environments Poster may be used as a reference guide for this problem. Our poster contains steps to prevent heat illness, types of heat illnesses and treatments, and steps that both employees and employers can take to address this issue and create a plan of action.
BACKGROUND: Because of a citation in November 2015 in which the employers IIPP failed to effectively address the hazard of indoor heat, even if the OSHA standard at the time did not specifically identify the hazard, Governor Brown took action on September 29, 2016 by signing a bill that directs Cal/OSHA to create a regulation protecting employees of indoor workplaces from heat illness. Section 6720 was added to SB 1167 requiring that a proposed rule be submitted to Cal/OSHA standards board by January 1, 2019. The standard would apply to all indoor work areas where the temperature equals or exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit when employees are present.