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Cal/OSHA Cools Down Heat Regulations

Employers in the construction, agricultural, landscaping, oil and gas extraction, and transportation industries are now required to have shade present to accommodate up to 25 percent of their employees on any given shift when temperatures are above 85 degrees.

As of November 4, 2010, Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) procedures require the shade to be close to where the employees are working and readily available upon employee request, even if the temperature is below the 85-degree mark.

These procedures will require supervisors to closely monitor employees and remind them to take regular breaks for water and shade. California Labor Code Section 3395 requires employers to accommodate their workers in high-heat situations by providing clean water, ample shade, rest areas, and heat illness training for both employees and supervisors.


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Upcoming Cal/OSHA Rules Affecting Licensees
construction lift

Changes to safety rules and regulations for heavy equipment lifts and cranes that elevate workers are under consideration by the Department of Industrial Relations' Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB), and may affect work guidelines at construction sites in the coming months.

OSHSB is reviewing general industry safety orders to assure worker protection when employees are elevated with rough terrain fork lifts. There is concern that existing standards for lift trucks do not sufficiently address the increased use of boom-type lifts. The safety board is also close to adopting new safety orders that will consolidate rules relating to portable ladders.

A federal OSHA requirement governing cranes and derricks in construction took effect on November 8, 2010. Many of Cal/OSHA's current standards for cranes meet or exceed the federal guidelines, as California was one of the first states in the nation to require licensing for crane operators. Current state licensing certification is required for more than seven-and-one-half ton cranes. The new federal guidelines will require that such training and certification be adopted for operation of cranes that are one ton or more. OSHSB has six months from the time of the effective date of the federal rule to enact these standards for crane operation in California.

CSLB licensees may want to take advantage of Cal/OSHA's consultation services regarding employee safety rules.    | previous    |    next