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University of California
Capitol Corridor

UC programs provide heat illness prevention training

Record-breaking heat led to 12 farmworker deaths in 2005, bringing the issue of heat-related illness to the forefront for California labor activists and legislators. New laws enacted since then call for employee and supervisor training, fresh water at work sights, access to adequate shade for rest and recovery periods and written documentation on site that provides information about the regulations.

As the hottest August on record comes to a close, the next essential task has become educating California’s diverse population of outdoor workers and their employers about the heat illness prevention rules, according to an article on HealthyCal.org.

At the heart of the educational efforts are “Train the Trainer” workshops in which representatives from UC Berkeley’s Labor Occupational Health Program along with UCLA's Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program, and UC Davis’ Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety train representatives from schools, advocacy organizations, cultural centers, churches and health centers who in turn reached out to thousands of outdoor workers in their respective communities, the article said.

Related to this story, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources has a Heat Illness Prevention page on its website with the following articles:

  • Ten key points about heat stress
  • UC gives tips for coping with heat stress
  • Heat illness symptoms and first aid
  • How heat affects the body
  • Preventing heat-related illness among agricultural workers (pdf)

Visitors can also download bilingual (Spanish and English) heat illness prevention handouts from the website.

In 2011, of 753 heat enforcement inspections, 76 percent of employers were found to be compliant.
In 2011, of 753 heat enforcement inspections, 76 percent of employers were found to be compliant.

Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 9:59 AM
Tags: farmworkers (6), heat illness (1)

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