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California Heat Prompts Emergency Protection For Outdoor Workers

Fresno, CA — New regulations to take effect next week will protect outdoor workers from the heat.

The measures come as California´s workplace safety board investigates whether the heat led to ten on-the-job deaths since last month.

Four of the recent deaths were among field workers, picking peppers and grapes under a blazing sun and temperatures that soared to 108-degrees. Several construction and utility workers have also died in recent weeks from heat-related illness.

Most of the cases were in the Central Valley. The new regulations require anyone toiling outside to be provided a quart of water every hour, a shady rest area and training to recognize symptoms of heat stroke. Employers who fail to comply can be criminally prosecuted.