The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a stop work order for all outdoor operations in South Valley at Etchegaray Farms. This decision results from a possible heat-related death in mid-July. Juan Ochoa collapsed while working in a field with no shade in 110 degree heat.This accident happened after two other potential heat-related employee deaths in California the same week, one in Coalinga and the other in Yuba City. OSHA shut down the farm due to imminent hazards, and the employer failed to follow standard heat illness prevention regulations. The regulations Include: providing access to shade, following high heat procedures, and training employees on emergency procedures. OSHA states that the shutdown will remain in place until the employer proves that the hazards no longer exist.
An OSHA spokesperson said, “There has to be training of supervisory and also other employees before anyone starts work in order to make sure that everyone knows how to recognize signs and symptoms of heat illness, what the emergency services are, that they’re in place, they know how to contact medical services…” Pulgini & Norton, LLP attorneys have handled workers’ compensation claims for over 25 years in and around Boston and its surrounding areas. If you or a family member has been injured at work and would like to seek legal assistance, please contact us at (781) 843-2200 or (888) 344-2046 or email us. Cited Sources: OSHA shuts down farm in South Valley, CBS47, July 10, 2013 Cal-OSHA Shuts Down Valley Farm Following Farm Worker’s Death, KSEE24NEWS, July 9, 2013