Blog

Fighting in the Dirt

on November 30, 2016

For eons farmers have battled two things – pests and the weather. While we still can’t control the weather, we can fight pests that target our crops, whether in agricultural fields or our own back yards.

For the past decades, farmers have primarily relied on pesticides, but we now know that many of these chemicals are toxic and pests develop resistance to them. There is a high demand to find effective and safe options to traditional pesticides, especially for organic farming.

Occupational Hazards and Climate — NIOSH Science Blog

on November 17, 2016

Climate-related occupational hazards have historically received little attention. In 2009, NIOSH began work to address this gap and developed a framework to identify climate-related occupational hazards. Recently, NIOSH investigators published new work in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. Based on a review and assessment of the peer-reviewed literature from 2008–2014, the article updates…

Farm Workers Help Design 4 New Heat Illness Prevention Videos

on 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.

WCAHS Celebrates California Ag Day 2016

on April 29, 2016

WCAHS celebrated California Ag Day 2016 at the State Capitol on March 16th. California Ag Day is an annual event that celebrates the amazing diversity and productivity of California agriculture and the people who work in it. 

Professional Dreams May Change, but the Overall Goal is Reached

on 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!

Coming Soon! National Farm Safety and Health Week 2014

on September 14, 2014

September 21-27 is National Farm Safety Week. This year’s theme is “Safety Counts: Protecting What Matters.” The theme underscores the importance of working together to build a safer and healthier agricultural work place. California produces nearly half of US-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables. At the heart of this industry are the farmers and agricultural workers, whose labor provides us with an abundant food supply. However, they, and often their families, are exposed to a unique, sometimes hazardous workplace that can affect health at all age levels.

Life of a WCAHS Student Researcher: Heat Illness Study

on 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.

Small Changes Can Make Big Impact with Ladders

on August 22, 2014

If you ever had an ergonomic review of your workspace, you know that small changes, such as moving your chair up an inch or tilting your monitor a few degrees, can make a big difference in reducing muscle aches and pains.

The same is true in agriculture where repetitive movement (e.g., going up and down ladders) can become incredibly tiring, potentially leaving a worker open to various types of injury. Staying healthy and strong is especially important for farmworkers who look forward to harvesting multiple crops through the season.

Ag Center Confronts Rape in Field

on August 11, 2014

The PBS FRONTLINE 2013 documentary, “Rape in the Fields,” highlights undocumented women from California’s Salinas and Fresno areas as well as Washington’s Yakima Valley experience with sexual harassment and rape suffered at the hands of their supervisors. The women tell of their ordeals, sometimes at gunpoint, and fear of losing their jobs or being deported if they complain or leave. Often, the women do not speak English, are poor, in debt, and / or responsible for supporting their family.