Farm workers
Photo credit: Dan Long (at Flickr).

California farms produce a huge share of the fruits and vegetables consumed in the United States. Picking those crops is tough, sweaty work. And when the mercury rises, heat stroke is a real danger.

Sauceda: “Yes, workers need to do their work. They need to produce. At the same time, workers need to have their breaks.”

That’s Mily Treviño Sauceda, co-founder of a state-wide group of farmworker women called “Lideres Campesinas.” Her organization educates members about the dangers of heat and how to protect themselves.

Sauceda: “It’s important for workers to make sure they’re drinking not only enough water, make sure that they’re resting during their breaks, and they’re looking for the shade.”

But sometimes it’s tough for workers to take these precautions. There may not be a shady spot, or a farm manager may not give workers enough time to rest on a hot day. So Sauceda says employers and crew leaders need training, too, so they know how to help protect their workers.

These precautions can save lives … and they’ll become even more critical as global warming pushes temperatures higher and higher.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.

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