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FA R M   L A B O R   I N F O R M AT I O N   B U L L E T I N

Voice of the Fields California

May 25, 2011


Volume 21, Number 5

Heat Illness Prevention


s temperatures throughout the state continue to rise, agricultural working conditions also change. It is important that all agricultural workers take care of their health and safety as we start to move into the summer months and many areas reach temperatures over 100 degrees. Workers must be aware of the symptoms of heat illness and know how to prevent it. Heat illness is a medical condition that results from the body’s inability to cope with hot conditions and cool itself. In 2005, preventable heat illness resulted in the deaths of 13 workers in California and led to the passage of the state’s Heat Illness Prevention Standard. Through the passage of this standard in 2005, employers are required to provide training, water, shade and rest to their outdoor worksite employees. They are also required to develop and implement a plan for complying with the standard. These procedures must also be made available in writing to all employees upon request. Training employees is also an important component of preventing heat illness. Before you work outside, you should be trained in heat illness prevention. The Department of Industrial Relations states that employees should be

given the following information as part of their training: n Environmental and personal risk factors n Employer’s heat illness prevention plan and procedures n They need to drink water frequently throughout the day. n Importance of acclimatization (allowing the body to adjust gradually to the work in high heat) n Types of heat illness and the signs and symptoms n Necessity of immediately reporting to an employer any signs or symptoms n Employer’s procedures for responding to symptoms n Employer’s procedures for contacting emergency medical services. This includes alternative modes of transportation n Employer’s procedures for emergency communications. This includes the emergency response procedures such as location, local medical services, and communication alternatives. For more information on health illness prevention, visit the Department of Industrial Relations website at heatIllnessQA.html. For help with a heat-related problem at work, you can

call 1-877-99-CALOR, someone can help you in English or Spanish. To locate your local Cal/OSHA office, visit DistrictOffices.htm or you can find your local office using your zip code at www. .

Steps for Employers

California employers are required to take these four steps to prevent heat illness*: Training – Train all employees and supervisors about heat illness prevention. n Water – Provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least one quart per hour, and encourage them to do so. n Shade – Provide access to shade at least 5 minutes of rest when an employee believes he or she needs a preventative recovery period. They should not wait until they feel sick to do so. n Planning – Develop and implement written procedures for complying with Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard. n

*Source: California Department of Industrial Relations website: HeatIllnessInfo.html Continued on next page

Heat Illness Prevention Continued from first page

Heat Safety Tips The California Department of Industrial Relations provides the following heat safety tips for agricultural workers on its website at 1) Drink water often – even if you aren’t thirsty. It’s best to drink a small amount often, like a cup or two cones every 15 minutes. Avoid drinks like sodas, coffee, energy drinks or alcoholic drinks. They dehydrate you and make it more dangerous to work in the heat. 2) Rest in the shade when you need to cool down. You have the right to at least 5 minutes in the shade. This “recovery period” is allowed under California’s heat standard, and is in addition to the regularly scheduled breaks for meals and rest. Regular breaks are 10 minutes (paid) for every 4 hours of work, and a 30-minute meal break (unpaid) for every five hours worked. 3) Report heat symptoms early. Watch out for each other and let your employer know right away if anyone has heat symptoms. 4) Know what to do in an emergency. Employers must train you on what to do and who to call if anyone has heat symptoms, and on how to give precise directions to the worksite in case you need to call for medical help. Heat illness can be deadly, so get help right away. 5) Wear hats and light-colored clothing – they help block the sun.

Types of Heat Illness and Symptoms


he Center for Disease Control (CDC) identifies a number of heatrelated illnesses and common symptoms that often inflict those that work outside and other hot environments. Stress caused by heat can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat rashes. Heat can also increase the risk of injuries in workers as it may result in sweaty palms, foggedup safety glasses, and dizziness. Workers that are at greater risk for heat illness include those 65 years and older, those who have medical conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease, individuals who are overweight or are taking medications that may be affected by exposure to extreme heat.

Heat Stroke:

Heat Exhaustion:

The most serious heat-related illness occurs when the body is no longer able to control its temperature. The body’s temperature rises quickly and the body is unable to cool down fast enough. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if treatment is not given Symptoms: n  Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating n  Hallucinations n  Chills n  Throbbing headache n  High body temperature n  Confusion/dizziness n  Slurred speech

Heat exhaustion is the result of extreme loss of water and salt from the body, usually through excessive sweating. Symptoms: n  Heavy sweating n  Extreme weakness or fatigue n  Dizziness, confusion n  Nausea n  Clammy, moist skin n  Pale or flushed complexion n  Muscle cramps n  Slightly elevated body temperature n  Fast and shallow breathing

Heat Rash: Heat rash is a skin irritation that is caused by excessive sweating due to hot temperatures. It is most likely to occur on the neck, upper chest, in the groin, under the breasts and in elbow creases. Symptoms: n  Heat rash looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters.

Heat Cramps: Heat cramps are generally the result of excessive sweating, which depletes the body of salt and water. The low levels of salt cause painful cramps. Heat cramps can also be a symptom of heat exhaustion. Symptoms: n  Muscle pain or spasms usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs.

Abuse in Migrant Communities


ore than 40 percent of California women experience intimate partner violence (IPV) in their lifetime, according to the recent California Women’s Health Survey. According to Casa de Esperanza, a national Latina organization, 1 in 4 (or 25 percent) Latina women that have experienced IPV in their lifetime. Farmworker women throughout California are particularly vulnerable to sexual assault and domestic violence due to social, economic, political, language, and cultural barriers. All too often, agencies providing services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault have been unsuccessful meeting the needs of this segment of our population because these women often work in remote and isolated areas. According to the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALASA), cultural taboos and language barriers play a big part in why these women often do not seek help when they are assaulted. Also, these women are not always familiar with their rights and have been threatened by their abusers that they will be deported if they report the abuse. A recent study by the Migrant Clinicians Network found that 20 percent of the 1,001-farmworker women surveyed had experienced either physical or sexual abuse. Women farmworkers are also often forced into sexual relationships with supervisors, or others who have authority, in order to maintain their employment. You can get help. To locate a rape crisis center in your area, please visit http://

Domestic Violence

Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. Often, domestic violence is used as a way to control and establish power over someone through abuse of some kind. Behaviors can include psychological, emotional, verbal, sexual, financial, spiritual, and physical abuse, as well as stalking and threatening behaviors. These behaviors can occur frequently or infrequently

and generally escalate over time. If you are in an abusive relationship and need immediate assistance, dial 911. If you would like to talk to someone, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Someone is available to help you 24 hours a day to listen and provide information to help you get safe. They can give you the name and phone number for assistance in your community.

Are you in an abusive relationship? The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence posted these questions on their website for women to consider when assessing their relationship (partial list). Does your partner: n  Act extremely jealous of others who pay attention to you, or use jealousy to justify his/her actions? n  Monitor where you go, who you call, and who you spend time with? n  Call you names, insult you, or continually criticize you? n  Put you down in front of other people, humiliate you, play mind games and make you feel as if you are crazy? n  Stop you from seeing or talking to friends or family, or limit your outside involvement? n  Make all the decisions? n  Take your money or not let you have access to the family income? n  Make you afraid by using looks, actions, and gestures? n  Threaten to take away your children? n  Break things, damage property, throw objects, punch walls, or kick doors? n  Trap you in your home, or keep you from leaving? n  Push, slap, bite, kick or strangle you? n  Use physical force or intimidation in sexual situations? n  Prevent you from calling for help, or seeking medical attention? n  Act like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even denies doing it? n  Blame drugs or alcohol for his/her abusive behavior? n  Scare or threaten you with weapons? n  Threaten to kill you or commit suicide? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be involved in a relationship that is abusive. For more information, visit the California Partnership to Prevent Domestic Violence website at or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.


n addition to all of the employment and training opportunities provided by La Cooperativa members, they also operate a wide variety of nonemployment and training programs that complement and strengthen their employment and training efforts. These include Community Service Block Grants, Head Start, AmeriCorps, childcare, weatherization, energy services, rehabilitation training, and housing. For information on employment and training or any of the other programs mentioned above, please contact one of the following member offices: Center for Employment Training 701 Vine Street San Jose, CA 95110 Phone: 408.534.5360

California Human Development 3315 Airway Drive Santa Rosa, CA 95403 Phone: 707-523-1155 Fax: 707-523-3776 Central Valley Opportunity Center 6838 Bridget Court P.O. Box 1389 Winton, CA 95388 Phone: 209.357.0062 Employers’ Training Resource Administrative Offices  1600 East Belle Terrace Bakersfield, CA 93307 Phone: (661) 325-HIRE Proteus, Inc. 1830 N. Dinuba Blvd. Visalia, CA  93291 Phone: (559) 733-5423  Fax: (559) 738-1137

List of Helpful Phone Numbers Unemployment Insurance: English: 1-800-300-5616 Seguro de Desempleo: En Español 1-800-326-8937 Disability Insurance: English: 1-800-480-3287 Seguro de Incapacidad Estatal: En Español: 1-866-924-9757 Paid Family Leave: English 1-877-238-4373 Programa Familiar Pagado: En Español: 1-877-379-3819 National Domestic Violence Hotline Línea Nacional Sobre la Violación Doméstica English/En Español Hotline: 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224. Help is available 24 a day, 365 days a year.

U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services Servicio de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de Estados Unidos National Customer Service Center (NCSC): English/En Español Hotline: 1-800-375-5283 1-800-767-1833 (TDD for the hearing impaired) United States Social Security Administration Administracion del Seguro Social English/En Español Hotline: 1-800-772-1213 If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call our toll-free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday

Radio Bilingüe with Alma Martinez


heck out this month’s Radio Bilingüe program with reporter Alma Martinez and La Cooperativa’s Voice of the Fields editor Marco Lizarraga. The radio program provides you with in-depth information on issues discussed in the monthly Voice of the Fields newsletter. Here is a list of upcoming programs: May 26, 2011 (10:00 a.m.) Hear from an expert on immigration issues and how not to be scammed. June 30, 2011 (10:00 a.m.) Learn about the California Human Development and el Instituto del Mexicano en el Extranjero The program is broadcast on Radio Bilingüe, a non-profit radio network with Latino control and leadership. To find a station near you, visit www. You can also access past programs online!

Voice of the Fields California Circulation: 40,000 copies Published monthly by: La Cooperativa Campesina de California

7801 Folsom Blvd, Suite 365, Sacramento, CA 95826 Phone 916.388.2220 • Fax 916.388.2425

Editor: Marco Lizarraga Produced with the support of the Employment Development Department Voice of the Fields may be reproduced

Voice of the Fields - May 2011  

Farm Labor Information Bulletin

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