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Protection against heat-realted workplace injuries

As spring is full force in California, temperatures continue to rise, and outdoor workers are again at risk of suffering the negative impacts that heat can have on physical safety. At this time of year, it is up to employers to educate workers on how to stay safe while working in the heat and prevent heat-related workplace injuries. With safety training and awareness, workers can avoid certain illnesses and physical harm.

One of the main responsibilities of managers, supervisors and employers is to recognize the signs of heat-related illness. When certain symptoms arise, California workers should be allowed to sit down, get out of the heat and recover from any discomfort they are feeling. There are regulations in place to protect the rights and safety of those who work outdoors, and employers could face fines for violations. 

Employers should provide cold water, allow employees breaks to drink water and provide a shaded area where workers can have a break from direct exposure to the sun. There are certain regulations that must be followed when temperatures reach 80 degrees and more when temperatures reach 94 degrees. All workers, documented or not, have the right to report employers that do not comply with heat safety measures, and employees can make the reports anonymously. 

It is vital for employers to work hard to prevent workplace injuries of all kinds, including the illnesses and repercussions that can follow heat exposure. When a worker suffers from heat exhaustion, heat stroke or any heat-related illness, he or she has the right to a full recovery. A lawyer can explain how to secure rightful compensation, even for those who became ill while working in the California sun.

Source:, "Cal/OSHA working to prevent heat illness", David Castellon, April 12, 2016

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