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Advice to Employers and Employees Regarding
Work-related Valley Fever

Information for Employers

  • Employers have a legal responsibility to immediately report to Cal/OSHA any serious injury or illness, or death (including any due to Valley Fever) of an employee occurring in a place of employment or in connection with any employment. Employers also have responsibilities to control workers’ exposure to hazardous materials.
  • Applicable regulations with regard to Valley Fever protection and exposure can be found in the California Code of Regulations, Title 8, sections
    • 342 (Reporting Work-Connected Fatalities and Serious Injuries),
    • 3203 (Injury and Illness Prevention),
    • 5141 (Control of Harmful Exposures),
    • 5144 (Respiratory Protection) and
    • 14300 (Employer Records-Log 300).
  • Cal/OSHA has issued citations to several employers following investigation of confirmed cases of Valley Fever contracted at the California Valley Solar Ranch and the Topaz Solar Farm in Santa Margarita. Those citations can be viewed on the Cal/OSHA Notable Citations page.

What work activities increase the risk of Valley Fever?

When fungal spores are present, any work activity that disturbs the soil, such as digging, grading or other earth moving operations, or vehicle operation on dirt roads, can cause the spores to become airborne, therefore increasing the risk of Valley Fever. All workers on sites where the fungus is present, and who are exposed to dusty conditions and wind-blown dusts are at increased risk of becoming infected.

  • Construction workers and other workers on construction sites, including roadbuilding and excavation crews
  • Archeologists
  • Geologists
  • Wildland firefighters
  • Military personnel
  • Workers in mining, quarrying, gas and oil extraction jobs
  • Agricultural workers*

* Cultivated, irrigated soil may be less likely to contain the fungus
   compared to undisturbed soils.

What should employers do if a worker reports
Valley Fever symptoms?

More Resources ...

October 2013