SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif .– Central Coast Defenders are offering safety tips and advice to some people who have to work in the heat, including local farm laborers.
“These heat waves are happening more and more, especially because of climate change in recent years,” said Lucas Zucker, advocate for the local organization CAUSE.
While some try to beat the heat with air conditioning, farm workers are still in the fields, with little protection from the elements.
“Agricultural workers are one of the groups of workers most vulnerable to heat-related illnesses and other types of occupational hazards,” Zucker said.
Local organizations like CAUSE remind workers of their rights.
“In particular, above 80 degrees, farm businesses need to provide shade for workers,” Zucker said. “And above 95 degrees, companies should schedule 10-minute breaks every 2 hours instead of every 4 hours. “
Health professionals have said that heatstroke is very common in heat waves like this.
“The main symptoms are nausea, vomiting and a lack of sweat when it is hot outside,” said Yvette Cope, head nurse at Lompoc Valley Medical Center.
The nurses said that if you experience symptoms of heat stroke, go to the hospital immediately.
“Heat stroke is a very serious condition,” Cope said. “It can cause brain damage, you could have a stroke.”
They add that the best way to prevent heat-related illnesses is to simply stay hydrated.
“At least another 4 to 8 glasses, especially for the farm workers out there,” Cope said. “But to add the electrolytes. It will help them a lot.
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