WALNUT CREEK (KPIX 5) — With temperatures soaring this week, labor officials are cracking down on hot weather laws.
Hundreds of companies have already been cited for not providing employees with proper shade and water.
“Very hot. But, we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do. We’re at work,” Concrete North employee Manny Salas told KPIX 5.
Physical labor in hot sun can make you thirsty. And you should quench that thirst. A lot.
“We drink at least two bottles of water an hour. At least,” Salas said.
Concrete North is living up to the letter of the law.
“All employers who have outdoor workers must do that,” Erika Monterroza with Cal/OSHA said.
And, that’s just the start of it.
California’s job safety police have cited over 700 companies for violating hot weather laws so far this year.
You need to have shade for at least a time and if there is none, the company must provide it.
You must be able to stop if you feel sick. And, your boss can’t just hire you and stick you out in the heat.
“They have to train you first, before you step outside, on what the signs and signals of heat illness are,” Monterroza said.
So far this year at least 63 people have become sick working too long in the sun, and one farmworker has died.
“On different jobs we’ve had to cool them off, get blankets on their necks, cool towels, and call emergency personnel,” Electrician Justin Keusch said.
Keusch says his IBEW union makes sure members know the rules.
“Every time you feel sick you can take a shade break Cool down. Make sure you retain water. It’s part of their training in their apprenticeship.”
Good things to know through a long hot summer.