In 2016, WWRC, the California Federation of Labor, ILWU, Worksafe, and other allies supported SB 1167, mandating Cal/OSHA to establish the first indoor heat standard in the nation. After Governor Brown signed the law, Cal/OSHA has been working through a process to establish this standard.
The most recent draft of the language was released last week. WWRC is calling on all affected workers and organizations to write to Cal/OSHA to give your opinion on the language. This is likely our last opportunity for comment!
Our current concerns include:
- The standard only allows for significant mitigation when the temperature is over 90 degrees Farenheit, far higher than the temperature where workers are affected significantly by heat.
- The standard allows for an exception where an indoor workplace can merely provide some access to the outdoors and keep the temperature within five degrees of the outdoor temperature- and be exempted from almost all the mitigations the standard calls for.
- The standard exempts office and professional settings where the temperature is below 85 degrees, even though workers in office settings can be vulnerable to heat illness in those temperatures, especially janitorial and other workers doing heavier tasks. The standard fails to adjust mitigation for critical factors that increase heat illness risk, such as heavy clothing, heavy work activity, radiant heat exposure, and acclimatization.
We have until March 1 to send comments to Cal/OSHA. You can direct comment letters to ANeidhardt
If you would like more information on this issue, please contact WWRC Program Coordinator Veronica Alvarado at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the link below for the full text of the current draft.