As a farm worker, you work hard for crops and cash, but you may be at risk of a crime if you are not aware of your own personal safety.
Often, farm workers catch transport vehicles in the dark to work in remote locations. You need to know your work location to summon medical, fire, and/or police help. Your employer must provide you with the address and location of the worksite as well as a local emergency number and a means to contact emergency services. If you have one, keep your own cell phone and list of local emergency phone numbers as well.
Use a buddy system of coworkers who know where you will be working and with whom. Tell your contacts when you will be leaving for work and returning. Vary your routine by driving or walking different routes. Never hitchhike or give a ride to a stranger.
Keep the doors locked and secured when you are in your car and when you park it. During dark hours, park close to your worksite and use the buddy system to go back and forth to the vehicles. Have your keys in hand when you reach your car. Keep personal items out of sight or in the trunk.
Watch for and report suspicious behavior and unauthorized visitors around the worksite. Listen to and act on your intuition. Don’t put yourself in danger because you think crime “can’t happen to you.”
Practice safe cash handling. Don’t talk openly about your wages or your savings. Don’t openly count your cash. Keep cash in secure locations, not on your person.
Know your resources. If you are concerned about your personal safety on the worksite, you can contact the local Farm Bureau or Growers Association. Report crimes to local law enforcement agencies; they often have victim and/or crime prevention services to assist you.