The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health announced new safety standards for nighttime workers in the agricultural industry. The need for new rules arose from the high number of workplace injuries that occur during night shifts. These are the first safety regulations issued specifically for farmworkers who work from sunset to sunrise.
The concern is for workers who harvest and those who operate vehicles during the night hours. These workers are at increased risk due to limited visibility. The new rules will make workers more visible to tractor and other equipment operators while also allowing workers to see hazards.
Under the new rules, employers in the agriculture industry must evaluate all outdoor work areas to determine the necessary lighting requirements. They must then implement the required measures to allow workers the essential lighting to prevent injuries wherever they work during the night. Furthermore, safety meetings are mandated to be conducted at the start of each shift, to underscore the hazards workers will face.
Workers in California’s agricultural industry might be less likely to suffer workplace injuries once the new regulations are in place. However, many workplace injuries occur unexpectedly, and victims are often unsure of how to navigate workers’ compensation claims. An attorney with experience in dealing with injured workers’ claims can assist with the administrative and legal proceedings of the benefits claims. Injured workers are typically awarded compensation to cover medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. Those whose injuries cause permanent disabilities will likely be eligible for additional benefits, which might include vocational rehabilitation.