As summer officially approaches, the National Weather Service has announced heat warnings across California. In parts of the Sacramento Valley, temperatures are expected to reach 110ºF, and regions in San Diego or Imperial Counties may even reach 114ºF. Red flag warnings have also been sent out, cautioning for potential fires in the Bay Area.
Employers should follow certain steps in order to protect their employees working outdoors from heat illness. Employers must have water available at all times, and must also encourage their employees to drink it. When the temperature hits 80º, or if an employee requests it, shade must be provided. If an employee develops symptoms of heat illness, they must be allowed to rest in the shade until those symptoms subside.
Lastly, safety and communication procedures are crucial. There should be prepared employees at each worksite ready to call medical services if an emergency situation occurs, and special attention should be given to newer employees (2 weeks on the job or less.) Staying safe in the heat will be a top priority this summer, both for employers and workers.