With temperatures across the state soaring well into the 90’s and with some areas possibly reaching 100 degrees, the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) issued its first high heat warning of the year. Cal/OSHA, the division of DIR that protects workers from health and safety hazards, issued the warning to employers as temperatures in both northern and southern California are expected to be 15-25 degrees above normal. The unseasonably high temperatures make the risk of serious injury from heat illness to outdoor workers, such as farm laborers, a serious threat.
The advisory cautioned employers about the basic actions they are required to take to protect outdoor workers from heat illness which includes training for employees and supervisors, providing plenty of water and shade for cooling and having an emergency heat illness prevention plan in place for the worksite. The advisory also highly recommends that employers take steps to allow workers to acclimatize to working in the heat.
Heat Illness Classes Available Locally
Western Growers members are reminded that Western Growers Insurance Services (WGIS) provides heat illness prevention training through its safety specialists. WGIS offers training classes for free for workers’ comp customers and at a very competitive hourly rate for non-customers. These trainings can be conducted at the employer’s workplace. If you’d like to discuss training through WGIS, contact Greg Nelson, AVP of Commercial Lines.
Other organizations, such as AgSafe and Cal/OSHA itself also offer heat illness prevention training. Some of the training is offered at no charge; some sessions have a small fee. But employers must make sure that their management team has attended an approved training session to meet regulatory requirements. Cal/OSHA training locations can be found on the Cal/OSHA website at http://www.dir.ca.gov/DOSH/HeatIllnessInfo.html. AgSafe is offering training in both English and Spanish on the following dates:
May 7 Oxnard
May 8 Santa Maria
May 14 Fresno
May 15 Salinas
May 21 Napa
You can sign up for these classes on the AgSafe website: https://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1541404
Start Growing Today
Farming has never been more challenging, which is why Western Growers invests in fully committed advocates – your advocates – in Sacramento, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. Only Western Growers offers members so many business services, supported by more than 400 dedicated employees.