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What Happens in a Heatwave: Are You Legally Entitled to Take Breaks?

What Happens in a Heatwave: Are You Legally Entitled to Take Breaks?

What Happens in a Heatwave: Are You Legally Entitled to Take Breaks?Triple-digit temperatures are common in California, Arizona, and other hot Western regions, especially in the summer. While these temperatures are ideal for swimming and other water activities, they are not ideal for working, particularly if you are performing any type of physical activity in the sun. Many employees, however, are unaware of their rights under federal and state law on how they must be protected from heat-related issues by their employers.

Employers are required to provide employees with heat protection under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and other state regulations (including the California equivalent of OSHA, Cal-OSHA, and the California Labor Code). There are not specific OSHA regulations about heat, there are regulations that employees are required a workplace “free from recognizable hazards” This means that employers must protect workers against potential heat-related diseases.

Paid Breaks Are Required

Employers in California are required to give a paid 10-minute break to non-exempt employees for every four hours worked. To minimize heat-related diseases, outdoor workers must be supplied with shade, drink, and extended rest intervals. California is unique in that it has particular rules in place to protect workers from the effects of severe heat.

California’s heat sickness prevention regulations apply to anybody who has workers. However, it is more often used to individuals in specific businesses who are more inclined to work outside. Agriculture, construction, landscaping, oil and gas production, and transportation or delivery employees are all included.

What Should Be Included in California Heat Sickness Prevent

Employees who work in outdoor locations should have an adequate heat sickness prevention strategy in place, as determined by their employers. This should include the following:

  • Free access to fresh, clean, and cold drinking water, as well as required break intervals
  • If the temperature rises above 80 degrees, choose a shady spot that is exposed to the air and offers ventilation or cooling
  • If the temperature exceeds 95 degrees, personnel must take at least 10-minute cool down breaks every two hours, which may be combined with other breaks
  • A supervisor should be ready to respond with first aid or medical assistance if an employee displays indications of heat-related sickness.

Keeping employees safe should be a top responsibility for all companies, regardless of whether specific regulations requiring breaks, shade, and water are in place. However, there are certain businesses where the bottom line takes precedence above safety. That is why you must hire an experienced employment lawyer to defend you. A qualified employment lawyer can represent you and guarantee that you are treated properly and that you receive justice for any harm you may have experienced at work.

You can contact PLBSH at (800) 435-7542 now if you require a legal consultation.

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