Heat Illness Prevention for Workers

Heat Illness Prevention for Workers

May 5, 2017

Training is Key to Heat Illness Prevention

(Part One of a Series)

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

Temperatures heating up throughout Central California are a reminder of the critical importance of heat illness prevention for farm employees working in the luminous fields.

Scott Peters farms peaches and nectarines in the Reedley and Dinuba areas of Fresno County. He carefully watches his workers. “During the high heat periods, we have to be very careful so the guys don't get heat illness, heat stroke types of symptoms. So we have shade and cold water readily available. We're working on portable toilets now that have covers over them so they're not as warm, for summer use."

Scott Peters

Peters maintains that prevention is always the best way to keep workers safe. "It comes down to regular training," he said.

“We also conduct heat illness training with all the field workers. We go over proper clothing light-colored clothing, cool clothing, hats, bandanas and sunscreento help prevent issues,” Peters said. “If the field worker is safe and happy, he does a better job. It's better performance and, all the way around, everybody benefits.”

And Cal/OSHA rules require certain provisions to ensure workers' safety as the days warm up. “We have postings," Peters said. "Our crew bosses have binders with all the heat illness information, emergency contact numbers - both company and medical - such as 911 and the local hospital. [These postings] are with them in their vans and [affixed] to our restroom units in the field."

More California Ag News

Indoor Heat Regs: A Solution to a Problem? New Regs Target Indoor Heat Illness Prevention By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director Many agricultural organizations have submitted written comme...
Who Safeguards California Farm Workers’ Rights? Mudslinging in the Field By Laurie Greene, Founding Editor In his 1984 Address to the Commonwealth Club of California, American labor leader and civ...
Labor Issues in Sweet Potatoes Sweet Potato Season Under Way: Labor Issues Are Big Concern By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director With the 2017 sweet potato season getting under...
Farmers Not Respected by CA Politicians Farmers Unfairly Impacted by Politicians By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director California Ag Today recently had an exclusive interview with Frank...