Friday, June 12, 2015

Heat Rules Improved in Settlement between Farmworkers and Brown Administration

Farmworkers will be better protected from heat related illness as a result of the settlement of lawsuits brought by the United Farm Workers against the State Division of Occupational Safety and Health on behalf of two grape pickers who died from heat exhaustion. The settlement was announced in Fresno by the UFW, attorneys in the case, and family members of those impacted by heat illness. The lawsuits alleged that Cal/OSHA failed to effectively enforce heat safety laws passed in 2005. The settlement calls for Cal/OSHA to complete inspections more quickly, go after violators more aggressively, and work with the UFW to report and document heat rules violations. Cal/OSHA will also be subject to internal audits to make sure the agency is doing its job. Pacifica’s Vic Bedoian reports from Fresno.