Agricultural workers in California face various safety risks in their daily tasks, which demand keen awareness and precautions to prevent accidents.
These risks can have serious consequences if not managed properly.
1. Machinery hazards
Operating heavy machinery is a common aspect of agricultural work, and it comes with inherent dangers. To mitigate these risks, it is important that workers receive thorough training and regularly maintain the equipment. From tractors to harvesters, the machinery should be in top condition to prevent accidents.
2. Heat stress and dehydration
California’s climate can be sweltering, especially during the peak of summer. Agricultural workers labor in the heat for extended hours, making them vulnerable to heat stress and dehydration. To combat these risks, employees should wear light, breathable clothing, use sun protection and stay adequately hydrated throughout the day.
3. Pesticide exposure
Handling and applying pesticides is an integral part of crop management in agriculture. However, exposure to pesticides can lead to severe health issues if not managed with utmost care. To minimize the risk of pesticide exposure, workers should wear proper protective gear, including masks, gloves and goggles.
4. Biological hazards
Working closely with animals or handling produce can expose agricultural workers to biological hazards. These hazards include zoonotic diseases and foodborne pathogens. To mitigate these risks, workers should maintain strict hygiene practices, such as handwashing and proper storage of food products. Additionally, they should be vigilant for signs of illness in animals and report any concerns promptly.
In 2020, 11,880 injuries related to agricultural production occurred. Work in this field is physically demanding and fraught with potential safety risks. Employees injured on the job deserve compensation.