In 2016, California passed legislation directing Cal/ OSHA to develop a standard on heat illness prevention in indoor workplaces, in recognition that the state’s current standard for outdoor workers leaves out the many workers exposed to hazardous heat in indoor settings.
Since the rulemaking process began in early 2017, Worksafe has advocated to make the proposed indoor heat standard as strong as possible. Top priorities have been for the standard to cover all industries, to account for humidity and other heat illness risk factors such as clothing and exertion, and to require control measures at a lower temperature than the 90 degrees Fahrenheit repeatedly proposed by Cal/OSHA. Strong organizing by workers and advocates has won improvements in all of these areas to date.
In April 2019, Cal/OSHA issued an updated draft standard and stated it did not anticipate making any further changes prior to the next stage of formal rulemaking. The next steps are several internal administrative review processes, followed by hearing and public comment at the Standards Board before the regulation can become law.