CONCORD (KCBS) – The Bay Area’s mini heat wave this week is serving as a good reminder for companies that use outdoor workers that state regulations require more than just passing out bottled water.
KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:
In Concord, where summer temperatures hover in the 90s, the Contra Costa Builders Exchange wanted to make sure employers know what their obligations are when the temperatures rise, so they brought in a Cal-Osha trainer to go over regulations Wednesday.
“They have to provide them shade, they have to provide them a certain amount of water, and they have to provide them cups,” said Denise McDavid, president of the Builders Exchange.
She said that with high unemployment, workers will often go to great lengths to keep a job, including not complaining about heat, dizziness or exhaustion.
According to Cal-Osha, it’s up to supervisors to keep an eye on workers, because ultimately an employee’s safety is the company’s responsibility.
Vince Lamastra, with the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents the companies that hire longshoremen said that state rules change so often that employers may be out of compliance and not even know it.
“Providing water is not a problem,” said Lamastra. “But as far as providing shade, we have structures and lunch rooms, so does that meet the intent of what they want? There’s a lunch room an eighth of a mile away, and there are structures all over the place, but does that meet the intent?”
McDavid said that another problem is that workers who toil in agriculture, construction, landscaping and delivery, don’t often know what their rights are.
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