Nicole Rice

Indoor heat illness regulation mandate heads to Governor

By Nicole Rice, Policy Director, Government Relations

Capitol Update, Aug. 26, 2016

SB 1167 (Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia) passed its final legislative hurdle today and is now headed to the Governor for consideration. The bill instructs the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (also known as Cal/OSHA) to develop a heat illness and injury standard for indoor workers by January 1, 2019. The measure passed the State Senate today on nearly a partisan vote.

CMTA has opposed this measure as an unnecessary directive that would result in a disproportional negative impact on manufacturing due to the inherent nature of our industry’s process that can, at times, expose individuals to varying degrees of temperatures.

In recent amendments, the Division of Industrial Relations attempted to provide some direction as to the scope and focus of this legislative mandate. However, CMTA would have appreciated stronger language clarifying Cal/OSHA’s authority to limit both the scope and application of the regulation, where necessary and appropriate, to avoid a “one-size fits all” outcome that would be unworkable for manufacturing.

SB 1167 has had an interesting journey through the Legislature. Earlier this year, the bill was introduced by Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) out of concern for warehouse workers in her district. However, because the author ran into some trouble with her fellow Democrat colleagues in the Assembly, she was subsequently removed from the bill and Senator Tony Mendoza, Chair of the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee, was handed the reigns on the bill. During her closing remarks to her fellow Senators for today’s vote, Senator Leyva said, “It isn’t about the name on this bill, it’s about the policy that will help workers.”

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