The state Division of Occupational Safety and Health reports that a 38-year-old employee of Stamoules Produce of Mendota collapsed while packing corn in a Firebaugh field. The worker, who began his shift at 3 a.m. and was scheduled to finish at 1:30 p.m., was stricken at about noon in 111º F heat.Yesterday, I reported on three others in California.
All of these heat-related workplace fatalities in California kind of makes me wonder. California is not the only hot state in the country, but it is the only state to issue a standard to prevent heat-related workplace deaths, and state authorities and the media are paying particularly close attention to this problem. One wonders, however, how many work-related deaths from heat are occurring in other states that aren't paying close attention. I wonder how many of these are labeled heart attacks or some variation of "natural causes?"