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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201086477 - Employee Dies From Heat Stroke

Accident: 201086477 -- Report ID: 0950625 -- Event Date: 08/17/2005
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
30635929008/18/20050761Zepeda'S Farm Labor Service

On August 17, 2005, Employee #1, on his second day of harvesting lettuce seeds in Huron, CA, worked for eight hours in temperatures that reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit (F), with 15 percent relative humidity. Employee #1 was required to wear a long sleeve shirt, gloves, hat and dust mask. Water was available and frequent water breaks were encouraged by the employer. Harvesting is performed by a crew, a tractor operator, two cutters and four beaters. Cutters cut the plant and throw it into a metal gondola, where the beaters thrash the plant and discard it. Seeds weighing up to 500,000 pounds are transferred to a canvas and raked to separate debris. Prior to working with the seed harvesting, Employee #1 was weeding cotton in temperatures reaching 110 degrees F and was presumed to be well acclimated to the high temperatures. Thirty minutes after work, Employee #1 exhibited hallucinations, vomiting, and lost consciousness. He was transported by ambulance to Hanford Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead with a body temperature of 108.5 degrees F.

Keywords: agriculture, harvester, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, overheated

Employee Details
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 306359290 Fatality Heat Exhaustion Farm workers

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