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Heat-Related Illness Prevention and Policy Change for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers in Oregon

1 January 2017


Farmworkers experience more heat fatalities than any other group of outdoor laborers. Migrant and seasonal farmworkers face many cultural barriers that leave them marginalized and unempowered. It is because of these cultural barriers that many employers do not offer sufficient safety education, shade, hydration, and cool-down rest to prevent Heat-Related Illness (HRI). The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal-OSHA) has implemented new policies that have been successful helping employers understand the regulations to protect the workers (Castellon, 2016). Oregon-OSHA will create and implement their own policies relating to HRI with the collaboration of Cal-OSHA. Best practices have shown that when training migrant and seasonal farmworkers, partnering with community-based organizations increases preventive practices and create improvements in work safety (Austin et al, 2001). ¡Salúd! Services will partner with local winery/vineyard employers to deliver education and technical assistance to local wineries/vineyards. ¡Salúd! Services will use college interns in their heat safety program, they will write proposals for safety grants and conduct weekly routine visits to the vineyards/wineries. These policy changes and the ¡Salúd! Heat Safety Program will reduce HRI and increase health equity for migrant and seasonal farmworkers in Oregon.


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