Extreme heat impacts farm workers

How farmers beat the heat

Fresno, Calif. - Scorching heat means dangerous working conditions for those who labor outside.

For valley farmers it means keeping a close eye on their field workers.

Farmers like John Chandler say they take extreme weather conditions seriously.

So serious that they modify their work day and even let workers go home early if its too much to bare.

Santos Rosales is the lead field worker of the group.

Rosales says he plants the same message in their head everyday.

"Don't work more than you can and drink water even when you are not thirsty," said Rosales in Spanish.

Chandler says providing extra water, extra work breaks and tents for shade helps beat the heat.

But if it's too much to bare, he lets workers go home to prevent heat related illnesses.

"We take it very seriously the health and safety of our crews," said Chandler.

Ryan Jacobsen President of the Fresno County Farm Bureau says education is key.

That's why every year local organizations get together to provide heat seminars for everyone who works on a farm.

"We are literally training thousands of folks every year," said Jacobsen. "We want our employees to be as safe as possible to make sure they don't experience heat stress."

Jessica Mason, Emergency Medicine Physician at CRMC and UCSF Fresno says these are the signs to watch for to prevent heat related illnesses.

"headache, nausea, dizziness, they may get some muscle cramps and may feel like they want to faint," said Mason.

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