December 2021 California EHS News

By December 9, 2021 No Comments

California considers ranking heat waves after investigation of extreme heat deaths

California could become the first state in the nation to adopt a ranking system for heat waves, much the way meteorologists categorize hurricanes. Legislation announced by state Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara would create a system to warn communities of potentially deadly heat and encourage official action on prevention strategies.

The announcement comes after a Los Angeles Times investigation revealed that heat probably caused about 3,900 deaths in California over the previous decade – six times the state’s official tally – and that the undercounting has contributed to a lack of urgency in confronting extreme heat.


Cal/OSHA’s enforcement authority expanded

Governor Newsom this fall signed Senate Bill 606, significantly expanding the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s (Cal/OSHA) enforcement authority. SB 606 increases potential exposure for employers with multiple worksites in the state, requires Cal/OSHA to issue “egregious violations” in certain circumstances, increase the potential monetary fines associated with citations, and expands Cal/OSHA’s authority to issue subpoenas and seek injunctions and temporary restraining orders. The law becomes effective January 1, 2022.

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