on Wednesday, 08 July 2020. Posted in Blog & News

Heat related illness is one of the most common maladies to befall outdoor workers, particularly in agricultural settings. The basic problem is a rise in body core temperature due to conditions that induce dehydration, or otherwise block the body’s natural ability to cool itself. Heat illness is exacerbated by heavy or protective clothing, respiratory protection, age, weight, fitness, and lack of acclimatization. Smoking, caffeine, and alcohol also enhance heat stress. Under OSHA law, employers are responsible for protecting workers from extreme heat. An employer with workers exposed to high temperatures should establish a heat illness prevention program that includes the following:

1. Providing workers with water, rest, and shade;

2. Allowing new or returning workers to gradually increase workloads and take more frequent breaks as they build heat tolerance;

3. Planning for emergencies and training workers on prevention;

4. Monitoring workers for signs of illness.

For more information, about heat-related illness see The Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Centers website on heat related illness      

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WSDA Resilient Food System Infrastructure Grant Program

WSDA Resilient Food System Infrastructure Grant Program

Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) recently opened the application period for the Resilient Food System Infrastructure (RFSI) Grant. This one-time grant program is funded by USDA and is designed to bolster the middle of Washington’s food supply chain. The program aims to enhance local and regional food systems by supporting activities like aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storage, transportation, wholesaling, and distribution. Eligible entities include agricultural producers, processors, non-profit organizations, for-profit entities meeting SBA small business size standards, local and tribal governments, and institutions like schools and hospitals. Priority will be given to projects that benefit underserved and socially disadvantaged farmers, small and veteran-owned businesses, and projects that expand processing, aggregation, and distribution capacities. The application period opened on May 30, 2024, and closes on July 15, 2024 at 5:00 PM. WSDA is offering extensive support to help applicants through the process. This includes assistance from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and dedicated office hours every Tuesday and Thursday leading up to the application deadline. Visit the RFSI webpage for more information about what’s available. If you need assistance, please visit the RSI website. WSDA will also be available with office hours of every Tuesday 10am through July 9th and every Thursday at 2pm through June 27th (no office hours on July 4th holiday)

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