Currently, Section 3395 requires that drinking water and access to shade be provided to employees working outdoors. Section 3395 specifies that shade be erected at temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (F); that it accommodate 25% of the employees; and that employees be allowed and encouraged to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least five minutes.  Section 3395 also requires additional precautionary measures when the outdoor temperature is at or above 95 degrees F and that employees be observed for alertness and signs or symptoms of heat illness. In addition, Section 3395 requires that employers have emergency procedures for responding to symptoms of possible heat illness and that employees and supervisors be trained regarding those procedures. 

The proposed amendments published by the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board would revise the requirements of Section 3395 by: 

(1) Specifying that drinking water must be provided at no cost and be fresh, pure, suitably cool and located within 400 feet unless prohibited by site conditions.

(2) Requiring that shade be present when the temperature exceeds 80 degrees F, be sufficient to accommodate all employees on break, and be located within 700 feet of employees unless that is not feasible.

(3) Requiring that an employee taking a cool-down rest be encouraged to remain in the shade until symptoms have abated and be monitored by the employer during this recovery period.

(4) Lowering the threshold temperature for initiating high heat procedures from 95 degrees F to 85 degrees F.

(5) Specifying that high heat procedures include the means for observing employees for signs and symptoms of heat illness, designation of an employee at the worksite who is authorized to call for emergency medical services, and a pre-shift meeting to cover high heat precautions.

(6) Requiring a net ten-minute recovery period (which may be concurrent with other required breaks) for every two hours that an employee in agriculture works continuously in temperatures equal to or exceeding 95 degrees F.

(7) Specifying that workers receive additional training on the right to exercise their rights under the heat illness standard without fear of retaliation, procedures for acclimatization, and appropriate first aid and emergency response to heat illness.

(8) Adding new elements to the required written heat illness prevention procedures, which would now be called a heat illness prevention plan.

(9) Requiring that supervisors take immediate action if an employee exhibits symptoms of heat illness and prohibiting an employer from sending home an employee who was exhibiting signs or symptoms of heat illness without first offering onsite first aid or providing emergency medical services.