Health & Safety, Regulations & Compliance, Working Conditions

Farm Workers Try to Beat the Heat

From KIONRightNow.com, Matt de Nesnera, 4 May 2011.

SALINAS VALLEY, Calif. — The Central Coast could be flirting with record high temperatures Wednesday, and local farms will make sure workers beat the heat.

“As it heats up, we train them that it’s going to be 90 degrees tomorrow,” said Mark Mason, farm manager of Huntington Farms in Soledad.  “It’s all about training.”

Mason said the training includes simple tips like keeping water readily available, wearing cool clothes as protection from the hot sun, and providing water and ice.

Besides letting workers know they can take breaks whenever they feel heat stress symptoms, training also extends to the people in charge.  Supervisors and foremen are taught how to spot a farm worker who may be suffering from heat-related illness.

Mason said there is a hierarchy of supervision to make sure managers are accountable, describing it as “three checks to make sure these guys are doing what they should be doing.”

Jim Bogart of the Grower-Shipper Association said members are well-versed in compliance standards.

“Agriculture in the Salinas Valley is well-prepared for this warm weather,” Bogart said.

Source and video report at: KIONRightNow.com, “Farm workers try to beat the heat” by Matt de Nesnera, 4 May 2011.

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