The State Division of Occupational Safety and Health, also known as Cal/OSHA, is promoting the campaign: HEAT SAFETY. It is targeted mainly toward agricultural workers, but also any workers who face the harshness of the heat during work hours; construction workers, gardeners and others.
Researchers Gilbert O. Martinez and Luis Mireles, from Cal/OSHA, offered informational workshops April 10 and May 21 at the EMPLEO Call Center in San Bernardino and at the Desert Alliance for Community Empowerment (DACE) in Coachella, respectively. A third workshop will be held at a location to be determined on July 14. The purpose of these workshops is to inform about state laws that require prevention of heat-related illnesses. These laws require all employers who have workers out in the open to:
• Provide enough fresh water to drink
• Provide access to shade
• Train employees about the importance of water, shade and rest, and to identify the symptoms of diseases caused by heat.
When workers are aware of their right to water, shade, and training, heat-related illnesses can more easily be prevented. In solidarity, people of good will look out and show concern for our brothers and sisters who work hard in the heat. We should teach them to learn about the temperatures. Every worker out in sun should know that if the temperature exceeds 90 degrees, employers must provide up to two gallons of fresh drinking water per worker, per day.
Help workers understand their rights and share with them the number for EMPLEO, a toll-free Spanish hotline where they can ask questions and leave their complaints: 1-877-552-9832.