Changes to California’s heat illness prevention regulations will take effect on May 1, in time for this year’s growing season and warmer summer weather, now that the Office of Administrative Law has approved them and granted the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board’s request for an accelerated effective date.

Regulation Changes

The changes include several significant provisions:

• Access to shade must be provided when temperatures reach 80 degrees, instead of the current standard of 85 degrees;

• A change to what is considered “potable water” that must be made available to employees;

• Monitoring of employees taking a “preventative cool-down rest;” and

• Changes to high heat procedures.

Free Downloadable Chart

Cal/OSHA has created a chart to address the changes and provide guidance on how to implement the new regulations. The chart can be downloaded free of charge from HRCalifornia,, and from Cal/OSHA’s heat illness information page,

Cal/OSHA also updated its Heat Illness Prevention Enforcement Q&A,, and plans to revise educational materials on its website shortly.