CalChamber Helps Employers Prevent Heat Illness

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CalChamber's bilingual mini-book offers guidance to California businesses to help prevent heat illness and meet CalOSHA regulations.

As temperatures start to rise this summer, the California Chamber of Commerce urges businesses around the state to take all available precautions to prevent heat illness among their employees.

CalChamber is making available its mini-book, Preventing Heat Illness, which outlines for supervisors and employees how to prevent, recognize, and treat heat illness -- training which is required by law for employers of outdoor workers in California.

"As warmer weather approaches, it is important that employees and supervisors are trained to take preventative measures, know the symptoms and how to respond to heat illness," said Jessica Hawthorne, employment attorney with CalBizCentral, a division of the California Chamber of Commerce. "In fact, for people who work outdoors it's the law. The Preventing Heat Illness mini-book helps improve workers' safety and if used as an outline for training, satisfies new heat illness training regulations for outdoor employees."

Heat illness occurs when the body's temperature control system is unable to maintain an acceptable temperature. Under normal circumstances, the body cools itself by sweating. However, when high temperatures and humidity prevent the body from releasing heat efficiently, a person's body temperature can rise quickly causing numerous symptoms. If left untreated, high body temperatures can damage the brain and other vital organs and, ultimately, lead to death.

In July 2006, California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) implemented new regulations to protect outdoor employees from the effects of heat exposure and mandated training requirements for employees and supervisors on the prevention, symptoms and treatment of heat illness. The regulations apply to all companies with employees working in outdoor places of employment. In addition to the training requirements, employers must provide potable drinking water, access to shade, and compile heat illness prevention procedures, including employee training, in writing.

"The CalChamber Preventing Heat Illness mini-book is a great information resource. It's nicely laid out and easy to follow," said Len Welsh, Acting Chief for Cal/OSHA. "We like to emphasize that, while good educational materials like the CalChamber mini-book cannot serve as a substitute for employee training, they can serve as critical material to be presented at a training session and to reinforce the lessons learned there."

CalChamber's Preventing Heat Illness mini-book complies with Cal/OSHA training requirements and is full of clear, medically accurate illustrations and plain-language, bilingual content for easy reader comprehension. This mini-book was prepared with input from Cal/OSHA, which labels it a valuable resource and compliance tool for outdoor workers and supervisors.

CalChamber also recommends that businesses post the Heat Illness Safety and Prevention poster, a tool for the office that reinforces safe work habits in hot environments and serves as a reference to recognize symptoms of heat illness.

HIP Network Cal/OSHA has activated the Heat Illness Prevention Network (HIP Network), launched last year by the CalChamber and other business groups, in cooperation with Cal/OSHA, to warn employers about impending heat emergencies. The network will disseminate timely information provided by Cal/OSHA, and encourage the implementation of the recommended prevention measures. The network is the immediate source of information providing employers and employees with the tools to protect employees from heat illness.

More Information

For more information or to purchase the Heat Illness Prevention in California mini-book or the Heat Illness Safety and Prevention poster, visit and go to the heat illness solutions section.

For more information on heat illness, visit the Cal/OSHA website at To join the Heat Illness Prevention Network, which is managed by Cal/OSHA, e-mail

About CalChamber
The California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) is the largest broad-based business advocate to government in California. Membership represents one-quarter of the private sector jobs in California and includes firms of all sizes and companies from every industry within the state. Leveraging its front-line knowledge of laws and regulations, CalChamber provides products and services to help businesses comply with both federal and state law. CalChamber, a not-for-profit organization with roots dating to 1890, promotes international trade and investment in order to stimulate California's economy and create jobs. For more information, visit

About CalBizCentral
CalBizCentral is a one-stop site for products that answer California and federal labor law and HR questions, alleviate confusion and allow businesses to focus their time and effort on their work. For more information or to review CalBizCentral's products, please visit

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