The first lighting standards in the nation, written specifically to protect agricultural workers, has been adopted in California. The new workplace safety standard, “Outdoor Agricultural Operations During Hours of Darkness,” effective July 1, 2020, protects agricultural workers who harvest, operate vehicles and do other jobs between sunset and sunrise. Due to limited visibility at night, this will help agricultural workers make themselves visible and help them identify hazards.
The new standard requires that:
- All tractors, self-propelled farm equipment, and trucks have at least one headlight illuminating at least 50 feet to the front of the truck.
- All agricultural equipment will have at least one rear light to illuminate the area behind the equipment.
- Workers must have adequate lighting and be provided with hands-free portable lighting and/or area lighting.
- Safety meetings have to occur at the beginning of each worker’s shift. During the meeting, the worker will be informed of the location of the restrooms, drinking water, designated break areas, nearby bodies of water, and high traffic areas.
- Workers will be provided and required to wear Class 2 high visibility garments.
- Employers are required to update their Injury Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) and ensure all workers are trained on the new illumination standards.
By following this new standard, agricultural workers will have a lower risk of getting hurt on the job.