heat illness

Heat-Related Illness

Agricultural workers are greatly susceptible to heat-related illnesses and fatalities due to their work outside. Reducing the risk of heat illness (HRI) has been a major research theme of WCAHS for the past decade.

Heat Illness Prevention

For agricultural workers who work outdoors, heat illness can be a serious problem. Heat illness—including heat exhaustion and heat stroke—refers to a variety of symptoms including: headaches, dizziness, cramps, fainting, rapid heartbeat, and disorientation.

The State of California requires that all employers train their employees about heat illness prevention and provide plenty of water and access to shade. Employers must be in compliance with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard.

Farm Workers Help Design 4 New Heat Illness Prevention Videos

September 12, 2016

The California Heat Illness Prevention Study (CHIPS) is proud to present 4 new Spanish-language educational videos on:

  1.            Heat and Humidity Index
  2.            Importance of Water, Shade, and Rest
  3.            Symptoms of Heat Illness
  4.            What to Do In Case of an Emergency

The videos are each 2 to 3 minutes long and based on feedback from farm worker focus groups that said they would prefer watching short, informative videos on heat illness rather than receive written pamphlets.

Adjusting to Work in the Heat: Why Acclimatization Matters

June 15, 2016

The joys of summer are here, but with them come the hazards of working in the heat. Acclimatization to heat is an important part of keeping safe as temperatures rise. This natural adaptation to the heat takes time, and from a management perspective, it may require careful planning.

Make acclimatization part of your plan

Professional Dreams May Change, but the Overall Goal is Reached

December 22, 2014

Jose Gutierrez has made an incredibly positive impact at WCAHS since he first started as a student worker in 2010. Below he reflects on his various experiences at WCAHS before leaving for a new job as coordinator of Pasos Saludables – a farmworker wellness program – at Reiter Affiliated Companies, one of the world’s largest berry growers. Jose will be missed, but we are excited to see him continue his path in occupational health and safety!

Life of a WCAHS Student Researcher: Heat Illness Study

September 04, 2014

Note: Eddie and his co-workers have been working throughout the summer season on CA farms to better understand how to prevent heat illness associated with farm work. Data collected includes the internal temperature of participants as they work, how much water they drink, and on-site weather conditions.