Jul 8, 2024
Extreme Heat Awareness Month spotlights farmworker heat safety 

The Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) is promoting heat safety during a particularly hot summer month.

EFI is urging agricultural employers and workers to prioritize heat safety and prevent sun and heat illnesses.

The recognition comes during July’s Extreme Heat Awareness Month.

In recognition of July’s Extreme Heat Awareness Month, the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) is urging agricultural employers and workers to prioritize heat safety and prevent sun and heat illnesses.

With record temperatures rising nationwide and labor-intensive farming activities at their peak, the health and safety of farmworkers are paramount, according to a news release.

EFI has developed a comprehensive toolkit in collaboration with farmworkers, which includes a Spanish-language video explaining heat exhaustion symptoms and preventive measures, a bilingual tip sheet, and a collection of relevant statistics and resources. These tools are accessible online.

“Education and voluntary compliance are vital when it comes to heat safety,” Alexandra Martinez, EFI’s marketing associate, said in the release. “Farmworkers are particularly vulnerable to heat-related health risks and are 35 times more likely to die from heat-related causes compared to other workers. We’re providing simple, executable steps that can help save lives.”

Heat exposure results in up to 2,000 worker fatalities and 170,000 heat stress-related injuries annually in the U.S. The economic impact of failing to implement heat safety measures costs the nation nearly $100 billion each year, according to the release.

EFI’s resources emphasize practical tips to protect workers from extreme heat, including staying hydrated, taking rest breaks in shaded areas, wearing protective clothing, and recognizing signs of heat-related illnesses.

For more information on EFI’s tools and resources, and how EFI certification can enhance workplace heat safety strategies, visit equitablefood.org.


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