Cal/OSHA considers rulemaking on indoor heat illness

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Oct. 26, 2006 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

When the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) was in the process of adopting emergency regulations for heat illness last year, it was decided that the regulations should only focus on outdoor places of employment.  This separation of indoor and outdoor regulations was intended to lessen the controversy over what many employers considered to be unnecessary regulation.  With the outdoor heat illness regulations now finalized, Cal/OSHA has turned back to the issue of indoor heat illness. 

The battle between labor, employers and Cal/OSHA on the issue of heat illness has been raging for nearly 20 years.  The Schwarzenegger Administration, when negotiating with stakeholders on the outdoor regulations, indicated that they would consider indoor regulations in the future.  This year in California there were 140 non-industrial and 2 industrial deaths that may have been due to indoor heat illness. (Cal/OSHA is still investigating these incidents to determine if they were actually caused by heat illness.)

CMTA does not support attempts to apply a single, broad-based standard to all indoor employers in California.  While conditions of outdoor employment can be relatively similar, indoor employers can have many different micro-climates within one facility.  Dealing with issues of heat illness indoors is best left to individual employers through their Injury and Illness Prevention Program.  CMTA will be working with other trade associations to represent the opinion of industry at the coming advisory committee meeting.

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