Assembly to Consider Duplicative Heat Illness Bill

The Assembly will consider a California Chamber of Commerce-opposed bill that unnecessarily duplicates current regulations by directing Cal/OSHA to adopt a regulation for indoor workers to prevent heat illness.

SB 1167 (Mendoza; D-Artesia) directs Cal/OSHA to adopt an overly broad one-size fits all standard to protect the health and safety of indoor workers from heat-related illness and injury, while limiting the discretion and authority of Cal/OSHA to determine the most appropriate scope and application of the regulation.

The CalChamber and the coalition oppose the bill because current regulations require employers to identify and address workplace hazards, including the risk of heat illness in indoor workplaces.

Cal/OSHA has the statutory authority to adopt regulations using a process that considers stakeholder input through advisory committees. This process results in regulations that are appropriate in scope and application because all pertinent facts and data are considered by stakeholders and regulators. SB 1167 disregards the authority of Cal/OSHA to determine the most appropriate scope and application for the regulation.

This bill is unnecessary. According to the California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 3203, the Injury and Illness Prevention Program requires employers to have written procedures, to conduct worksite evaluations, to identify and correct worksite hazards, and train employees. These provisions apply to all workplace hazards, and to all employees. Cal/OSHA has prepared an instructive informational piece with recommendations for preventing heat illness in indoor working environments.

If in fact indoor heat illness presents a hazard that is not being addressed adequately, Cal/OSHA has other methods with which to effect compliance with current regulations. The Consultation Unit creates educational materials, provides employer workplace consultations and inspections, and conducts outreach and educational workshops and forums for employers. Cal/OSHA has been very effective in developing and implementing special emphasis programs to increase compliance. A collaborative approach can be more effective in encouraging compliance rather than adopting duplicative regulation as proposed by SB 1167.

Action Needed

SB 1167 is on the Assembly Floor. Contact your Assembly representatives and ask them to oppose SB 1167.

Staff Contact: Marti Fisher