Exposure to extreme heat and high humidity can subject employees to physical conditions that can range from uncomfortable to life threatening. This section describes those conditions and the environmental and personal factors that create risk to employees.

All California outdoor workplaces are subject to the heat illness standard. Other places of outdoor employment are subject to both the standard and special high-heat procedures.

Cal/OSHA, per a statutory mandate, began working on draft regulations for an indoor heat illness standard, at the beginning of 2019.1 At the time of publication, Cal/OSHA has not yet adopted a permanent standard.

This law does not specify the provisions to include in the indoor heat illness standard or the types of workplaces covered — potentially the new standard could cover all indoor workplaces, including air conditioned offices. Employers will be able to offer comments during a rulemaking process.

In the interim, employers should be mindful that current workplace safety regulations already require employers to provide a safe workplace for their employees. For more information, see Outdoor Workplace vs. Indoor Workplace.

1. Lab. Code sec. 6720​​​