May 19, 2019

May 17, 2019

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Draft California Regulations for Nighttime Agricultural Operations Up for Vote at Standards Board

On April 18, 2019, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board will consider an update to the regulations governing nighttime agriculture operations at its monthly meeting. In 2013, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (or Cal/OSHA) asked for a revised regulation because of prior accidents or fatalities that occurred during the darkness of nighttime agriculture operations. The monthly meeting for the Standards Board moves around California to different locations; April’s meeting is in Sacramento for those who would like to offer public comment.

The new regulations address the need for greater illumination between sunset and sunrise as well as high-visibility garments for workers during the operations. The new regulations have specific lighting requirements so that workers can more easily see the work areas and tasks. The high-visibility garments are intended to create greater visibility of the workers during darkness when vehicles such as harvesting equipment and trucks may be working in the fields.

With many companies performing nighttime operations to avoid the high summer temperatures in the Central Valley and Wine Country, many vineyard management companies, wineries, and other growers may want to plan for this regulation to be fully adopted within a few months.

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About this Author

Karen Tynan, employment lawyer, Ogletree Deakins
Of Counsel

Karen Tynan is an of counsel attorney in the Sacramento office of Ogletree Deakins. Karen is originally from the state of Georgia, and after graduating with honors from the United States Merchant Marine Academy, she worked for Chevron Shipping Company for ten years – sailing as a ship's officer on oil tankers rising to the rank of Chief Officer with her Unlimited Master’s License as well as San Francisco Bay pilotage endorsement.  Karen was the highest ranking woman in the Chevron fleet when she left her seafaring life.  This maritime and petroleum experience is unique among employment...

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