Quick Hits

  • On December 22, 2023, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board published additional modifications of the draft indoor heat illness prevention standard.
  • The Standards Board’s agenda items showed that the Standards Board had planned to consider a version of the regulation that was essentially unchanged from a December 22, 2023, draft.
  • The Cal/OSHA Standards Board announced at the start of the meeting that the agenda item was pulled.
  • After protests by labor groups, the Standards Board voted to approve the regulation despite the questionable circumstances.

Standards Board Chair David Thomas indicated that the removal of the item from the agenda was because the California Department of Finance had an issue regarding the requirements of a standardized regulatory impact assessment (SRIA) and the financial impact of the proposed regulation on state agencies and major industries.

Although the scheduled vote on the Heat Illness Prevention in Indoor Places of Employment standard was removed from the agenda, Board Chair Thomas still called for a vote on the standard, acknowledging that the Office of Administrative Law would likely not accept the vote, given that it was not on the agenda. The Standards Board voted unanimously to pass the standard.

The Standards Board members discussed possible scenarios moving forward, including an emergency vote before the March 31, 2024, deadline to vote on the matter. If the matter is not resolved before that deadline, the Standards Board must begin the regulatory drafting and public comments process anew. In the alternative, labor groups may attempt to introduce legislation in the California Legislature in the coming days.

Because of this eleventh-hour development, Ogletree Deakins is adjusting its planned webinar addressing Cal/OSHA’s proposed indoor heat regulation. The webinar will take place on Monday, April 1, 2024, from 11:00 a.m. to noon (PDT) / 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EDT). The speakers, Kevin D. Bland, Robert C. Rodriguez, and Karen F. Tynan, will focus on outdoor and indoor heat illness prevention in California—on outdoor heat hazards and how Cal/OSHA can address indoor heat hazards under the injury and illness prevention program (IIPP) regulations. Register here or contact webinars@ogletree.com.

Ogletree Deakins’ Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group will continue to monitor developments and will provide updates on the firm’s California and Workplace Safety and Health blogs as additional information becomes available.

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