Farm Bureau welcomes governor's vetoes of heat-illness bills
» October 1, 2012 «
In his veto messages for two bills that would have imposed inflexible requirements on California farmers and ranchers, Gov. Brown noted steadily increasing compliance with existing heat-safety standards for agriculture and other outdoor industries. California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger said today the state's farmers and ranchers will continue their efforts to assure employee safety on hot days.
The governor vetoed Assembly Bill 2346 and AB 2676, each of which would have placed additional burdens on farmers who already work under comprehensive heat-safety regulations.
Wenger said the state's farmers and ranchers have led California and the nation in addressing and preventing heat illness.
"We thank Governor Brown for recognizing the heat illness prevention efforts of farmers, ranchers, agricultural organizations and Cal/OSHA," Wenger said. "Farm Bureau and other farm organizations have worked cooperatively with Cal/OSHA to develop and strengthen existing heat-illness regulations. We will continue to do so."
During the past decade, he said, tens of thousands of farmers, farm labor contractors and employees have been trained to understand heat illness and how to keep employees safe while working outside.
"Farmers have made a long-term commitment to educate, train and seek effective policies that assure safety on hot days, and we remain committed to continuous improvement that assures flexibility and success," Wenger said.
Farm Bureau and other agricultural organizations had encouraged the governor to veto both bills, saying they would have placed nearly impossible new rules on farmers.
"The best way to assure heat safety is through comprehensive, coordinated efforts involving employers, employees and regulators," Wenger said. "Farmers and ranchers accept the governor's invitation to continue working for improved workplace safety."
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of more than 74,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 6.2 million Farm Bureau members.
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