Are Cal/OSHA Regulations Protecting Farmworkers in California From Heat-Related Illness?

Chelsea Eastman Langer, Diane C. Mitchell, Tracey L. Armitage, Sally C. Moyce, Daniel J Tancredi, Javier Castro, Alondra J. Vega-Arroyo, Deborah H. Bennett, Marc B Schenker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Determine compliance with and effectiveness of California regulations in reducing farmworkers' heat-related illness (HRI) risk and identify main factors contributing to HRI. METHODS: In a cross-sectional study of Latino farmworkers, core body temperature (CBT), work rate, and environmental temperature (WBGT) were monitored over a work shift by individual ingestible thermistors, accelerometers, and weather stations, respectively. Multiple logistic modeling was used to identify risk factors for elevated CBT. RESULTS: Although farms complied with Cal/OSHA regulations, worker training of HRI prevention and hydration replacement rates were insufficient. In modeling (AOR [95% CI]) male sex (3.74 [1.22 - 11.54]), WBGT (1.22 [1.08 - 1.38]), work rate (1.004 [1.002 - 1.006]), and increased BMI (1.11 [1.10 - 1.29]) were all independently associated with elevated CBT. CONCLUSION: Risk of HRI was exacerbated by work rate and environmental temperature despite farms following Cal/OSHA regulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)532-539
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Volume63
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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