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California moves a step closer toward indoor heat regulation

Photo: Joseph Sohm/gettyimages

Sacramento, CA — California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board has unanimously approved a standard on heat exposure in indoor workplaces.

The state’s Office of Administrative Law will now review the standard for 30 “working days.” If approved, OAL will send the standard to the secretary of state for publication.

After the June 20 vote, the board issued a request to OAL to expedite the finalization of the standard. According to published reports, that could mean an effective date in August instead of Oct. 1.

With the board’s approval, California is poised to become the third state with an indoor heat regulation, joining Minnesota and Oregon.

Federal OSHA could soon issue a proposed rule on heat illness prevention in indoor and outdoor workplaces. That rule is under review by the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs – one of the final steps in the regulatory process.

The California standard would apply to indoor workplaces where the temperature is 82° F or hotter. Some exceptions may apply, including for emergency responders who are protecting life or property and remote employees who are working from a location of their choice.

It also wouldn’t apply for “incidental heat exposures” to temperatures between 82° F and 95° F for less than 15 minutes over any 60-minute period. That exception, however, wouldn’t apply to vehicles without air conditioning or shipping or intermodal containers “during loading, unloading or related work.”

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