Protecting Ag Employees From Heat Illness out in the Field
Isom said we need to be very, very careful. “You got to make sure the guys are drinking enough water. They're hydrated. Have somebody watching them. And, they could be on the backside of the facility, just moving product or, loading a truck, whatever it might be, but they're outside. And so you've got to watch those employees,” he said.
Isom said all supervisors must be very diligent. “You got to make sure they're taking the breaks. You got to make sure if they are outside, that they do have some access to shade,” he said. “And most importantly, that they are staying hydrated. It's so critical. And reminding them, what the symptoms are for heat illness.”
“What's also in the works is an indoor heat regulation. And the challenge with that one is it's got a trigger of 82 degrees. And then the high heat on the indoors is 87 degrees,” Isom noted. “So where we think about that from a nut processing it’s wherever we're doing our pasteurization or, even like on the walnut haulers where we're doing our dehydrating, those are going to be some unique challenges because we have people in there are certainly going to be over that temperature threshold,” he said.
“You're going to have to put plans in place and you're going to have to do the same thing that you would on how you would treat an outdoor person under the heat on this regulation. You're going to be looking at very similar requirements on the indoor side,” Isom said.