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SB-477 Employment: heat illness prevention.(2009-2010)

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Amended  IN  Assembly  August 02, 2010
Amended  IN  Assembly  August 17, 2009
Amended  IN  Assembly  July 14, 2009


Senate Bill
No. 477

Introduced  by  Senator Florez

February 26, 2009

An act to add Section 6713 to the Labor Code, relating to employment.


SB 477, as amended, Florez. Employment: heat illness prevention.
Existing law permits the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board within the Department of Industrial Relations to adopt occupational health and safety standards to protect the welfare of employees, and existing regulations provide for the prevention of heat-related illness of employees, as prescribed. Under existing law, it is a misdemeanor for an employer to violate a safety standard if the violation has a substantial probability of resulting in death or serious physical harm.
This bill would incorporate certain of these regulatory provisions into statute. The bill would additionally specify requirements for employers to provide employees access to shade when the temperature exceeds 85 75 degrees Fahrenheit and to implement designated high-heat and extreme-heat procedures when the temperature equals or exceeds 85 or 95 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The bill would prohibit an employer from allowing an employee or a supervisor to engage in outdoor work without receiving training on specified topics and would require the employer to designate a person to ensure that emergency procedures are invoked when appropriate.
Because this bill would specify additional safety standards, the violation of which would be a misdemeanor, it would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


 Section 6713 is added to the Labor Code, to read:

 (a) The following definitions apply for purposes of this section:
(1) “Acclimatization” means temporary adaptation of the body to work in the heat that occurs gradually when a person is exposed to it.
(2)  “Environmental risk factors for heat illness” means working conditions that create the possibility that heat illness could occur, including air temperature, relative humidity, radiant heat from the sun and other sources, conductive heat sources such as the ground, air movement, workload severity and duration, protective clothing, and personal protective equipment worn by employees.
(3) “Heat illness” means a serious medical condition resulting from the body’s inability to cope with a particular heat load, and includes heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat syncope, and heat stroke.
(4) “Personal risk factors for heat illness” means factors such as a person’s age, degree of acclimatization, health, water consumption, alcohol consumption, caffeine consumption, and use of prescription medications that affect the body’s water retention or other physiological responses to heat.
(5) “Shade” means blockage of direct sunlight. One indicator that blockage of direct sunlight is sufficient is when objects do not cast a shadow in the area of blocked sunlight. Shade is not sufficient when heat in the area of shade defeats the purpose of shade, which is to allow the body to cool. Shade may be provided by any natural or artificial means that does not expose an employee to unsafe or unhealthy conditions. A car sitting in the sun does not provide acceptable shade to an employee inside it, unless the car is running with air-conditioning.
(6) “Temperature” means the dry bulb temperature in degrees Fahrenheit obtainable by using a thermometer to measure the outdoor temperature in an area where there is no shade. While the temperature measurement shall be taken in an area with full sunlight, the bulb or sensor of the thermometer shall be shielded while taking the measurement, with the hand or some other object, from direct contact by sunlight.
(b) An employer shall provide employees with continuous, ready access to fresh, pure, suitably cool potable drinking water meeting the requirements of Sections 1524, 3363, and 3457 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations, as applicable. Where drinking water is not plumbed or otherwise continuously supplied, the employer shall provide it in sufficient quantity at the beginning of the work shift to provide one quart per employee per hour for drinking for the entire shift. An employer may begin the shift with smaller quantities of water if the employer has an effective procedure for replenishment during the shift to allow employees to drink one quart or more per hour. The frequent drinking of water, as described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (e), shall be encouraged by the employer.
(c) (1) When the outdoor temperature in the work area exceeds 85 75 degrees Fahrenheit, an employer shall have and maintain one or more areas with shade at all times while employees are present that are either open to the air or provided with ventilation or cooling. The amount of shade shall be sufficient to accommodate, at minimum, 25 percent all of the employees on the shift at any time, so that they can sit in a normal posture fully in the shade without being in physical contact with each other. The shaded area shall be located as close as practicable to areas where employees are working.
(2) When the outdoor temperature in the work area does not exceed 85 75 degrees Fahrenheit, an employer shall either provide shade as described in paragraph (1) or provide timely access to shade upon an employee’s request.
(3) An employer shall allow and encourage require an employee to take a cool-down rest in the shade for a period of not less than five ten minutes at a time when an employee feels the need to do so to protect himself or herself from overheating. The employer shall permit access to shade pursuant to this paragraph subdivision at all times.
(4) An employer other than an employer in the agricultural industry may provide cooling measures in lieu of shade, such as the use of misting machines, if the employer can demonstrate that these measures are at least as effective as shade in allowing employees to cool.
(d) An employer shall implement high-heat procedures when the outdoor temperature equals or exceeds 95 85 degrees Fahrenheit. These procedures shall include, in addition to the procedures of subdivision (c), all of the following to the extent practicable:
(1) Ensuring that effective communication by voice, observation, or electronic means is maintained so that employees at the worksite can contact a supervisor when necessary. An electronic device, such as a cell phone cellular telephone or a text messaging device, may be used for this purpose if reception in the area is reliable.
(2) Using a buddy system.
(3) Observing employees for alertness and signs or symptoms of heat illness.
(4) Reminding employees throughout the work shift to drink plenty of water.
(5) Supervising new employees closely by a supervisor or designee for the first 14 days of the employee’s employment by the employer, unless the employee indicates at the time of hire that he or she has been doing similar outdoor work for at least 10 of the past 30 days for four or more hours per day.
(e) An employer shall implement extreme-heat procedures when the outdoor temperature equals or exceeds 95 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to the procedures of subdivision (d), the employer shall require the employees to take mandatory rest breaks after every hour worked. The employer shall permit access to shade pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) at all times.


(f) (1) An employer shall provide training in the following topics to all supervisory and nonsupervisory employees:
(A) The environmental and personal risk factors for heat illness, as well as the added burden of heat load on the body caused by exertion, clothing, and personal protective equipment.
(B) The employer’s procedures for complying with the requirements of this section.
(C) The importance of frequent consumption of small quantities of water, up to four cups per hour, when the work environment is hot and employees are likely to be sweating more than usual in the performance of their duties.
(D) The importance of acclimatization.
(E) The different types of heat illness and the common signs and symptoms of heat illness.
(F) The importance to employees of immediately reporting to the employer, directly or through the employee’s supervisor, symptoms or signs of heat illness in themselves or in coworkers.
(G) The employer’s procedures for responding to symptoms of possible heat illness, including the procedure for providing emergency medical services if they become necessary.
(H) The employer’s procedures for contacting emergency medical services and, if necessary, for transporting employees to a point where they can be reached by an emergency medical service provider.
(I) The employer’s procedures for ensuring that, in the event of an emergency, clear and precise directions to the worksite will be provided as needed to emergency responders.
(2) Prior to assigning a person to supervise employees working in the heat, an employer shall provide training to the person on the following topics:
(A) The information described in paragraph (1).
(B) The procedures that the supervisor is required to follow to implement the provisions of this section.
(C) The procedures, including emergency response procedures, that the supervisor is required to follow when an employee exhibits symptoms consistent with possible heat illness.
(D) Procedures to monitor weather reports and the methods to respond to hot weather advisories.
(3) An employer shall not allow an employee or a supervisor to begin outdoor work until he or she has completed the training required by this subdivision.


(g) An employer shall set forth the procedures described in subparagraphs (B), (G), (H), and (I) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) (f) in writing and shall make them available to its employees and to representatives of the division upon request. The procedures described in subparagraph (I) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) (f) shall include designating a person to be available to ensure that emergency procedures are invoked when appropriate. The employer may include the procedures in its Injury and Illness Prevention Program required by Section 3203 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations or in a separate document.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.