California workplace safety officials have approved new rules aimed at strengthening and clarifying protections for people who work outside.
The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted unanimously Thursday in favor of modified rules that set a 95-degree temperature trigger when companies have to take specific steps to protect those working in fields and construction sites.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and workplace safety officials called for the changes after finding hundreds of farm laborers working in recent years with little or no shade or water.
The new rules allow employers to provide shade for 25 percent of workers at one time, or use trees and vines for shade instead of tarps. Farmworker advocates say those exceptions won't keep workers safe.