Heat-Related Deaths High Among Crop Workers: CDC

Workers employed in outdoor occupations such as farming are exposed to hot and humid environments that put them at risk for heat-related illness or death. A new report in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report describes one such death and summarizes heat-related fatalities among crop production workers in the United States during 1992–2006. During this 15-year period, 423 workers in agricultural and nonagricultural industries were reported to have died from exposure to environmental heat; 68 (16 percent) of these workers were engaged in crop production or support activities for crop production.

The heat-related average annual death rate for these crop workers was 0.39 per 100,000 workers, compared with 0.02 for all U.S. civilian workers. Data aggregated into 5-year periods indicated that heat-related death rates among crop workers might be increasing; however, trend analysis did not indicate a statistically significant increase.

CDC notes that prevention of heat-related illness starts with educating employers and workers on the hazards of working in hot environments, including how to prevent, recognize, and treat heat illness, and being prepared to provide and seek medical assistance. This report provides recommendations for employers to start heat stress management programs. A workplace heat stress management program should include such practical interventions as:

  • Heat illness training for all employees,
  • A heat acclimatization program,
  • Proper hydration,
  • Work/rest schedules appropriate for the current heat indices,
  • Access to shade or cooling areas,
  • Monitoring the environment and workers during hot conditions, and
  • Providing prompt medical attention to workers who show signs of heat illness.

Foreign-born crop workers may have special needs such as training and communication in their native language and an acclimatization period, the report notes. To read it in its entirety, visit www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5724a1.htm.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Safety Management Software - Free Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Software’s comprehensive suite of modules help organizations to record and manage incidents, inspections, hazards, behavior based safety observations, and much more. Improve safety with an easy to use tool for tracking, notifying and reporting on key safety data.

  • Create Flexible Safety Dashboards

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations allows you to easily create and view safety KPIs to help you make informed business decisions. Our best of breed default indicators can also save you valuable time and effort in monitoring safety metrics.

  • Schedule and Record Observations

    IndustrySafe's Observations module allows managers, supervisors, and employees to conduct observations on employees involved in safety critical behavior. IndustrySafe’s pre-built BBS checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Why Is Near Miss Reporting Important?

    A near miss is an accident that's waiting to happen. Learn how to investigate these close calls and prevent more serious incidents from occurring in the future.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to Safety Training

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common FAQs.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - May 2019

    May 2019

    Featuring:

    • RESPIRATORY PROTECTION
      Why Pick a PAPR? 
    • FIRE SAFETY TRAINING
      Fire Safety: Plan, Prevent, Train, Recover
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      The Truth About Heat Stress and FRC
    • AIHCE EXP 2019 PREVIEW
      Underestimated No More
    View This Issue