Vigilance In Preventing Heat -related Illness
Tuesday, April 27th 2010
Welcome to the California Fresh Fruit Association’s website. We hope you find the information here valuable and we encourage you to contact us with any suggestions or questions.
April 26th was the “official” start in the San Joaquin Valley of the “heat” season. Why? Because the forecast high temperature for the central and southern portions of the valley were at 85 degrees or above. At these levels the mandatory provisions of the state’s heat illness prevention regulations in regard to providing shade go into effect. Of course, as we have often stated, employers should always be aware of how to prevent heat related illness no matter what time of the year.
Almost five years have passed since Governor Schwarzenegger’s successful push for the most detailed and stringent heat illness prevention regulations in the country. The League stood with the Governor in the summer of 2005 in support of those regulations and with its essential provisions of adequate water, shade, education and training. Those regulations have made a positive difference and most likely saved numerous lives. In fact, in 2009 there were no heat related deaths in agriculture, a fact we can all be certainly proud.
However, we must remain constantly vigilant in preventing heat-related illness. We should renew our commitment to see that all farms are properly following the regulations and quickly educate those that are not. After almost five years there is really no valid excuse for not knowing about and following the regulations. Our motto is that if in doubt concerning the amount of necessary water or adequate shade, always error on the side of providing more. Remember, there is no better sign that a grower understands the importance of heat illness prevention and the fact that they are in compliance with the regulations than to prominently display the blue shade structures where they can clearly be seen by all who pass, particularly Cal OSHA inspectors.
Thank you for visiting our site and we sincerely hope that you will visit again soon.