Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation

Heat Hazards in Agriculture – A Guide for Employers to Carry Out Tailgate Training for Workers

Training Farm Workers to Prevent Heat Illness and Promote Safety for All

Heat Hazard Tailgate Training   Heat Hazard Tailgate Training

Heat Hazards in Agriculture, A Guide For Employers To Carry Out Tailgate Training for Workers, 2008 Acrobat image English version - Acrobat image Spanish version

Recent California summers have shown that the risk of heat illness is one of the most serious challenges to the safety and health of farmworkers. This training guide helps employers plan how to prevent heat illness among the crew and provide training to workers.

The training guide is available in English and Spanish, and includes the following tools for the supervisor or crew leader to use:

  • A checklist to inspect the worksite and think about heat hazards before the training is held. (page 33)
  • Complete instructions for teaching workers about heat hazards. (pages 9–23)
Additional resources:
  • A daily checklist to make sure all appropriate precautions are in place each work day. (page 31)
  • A Cal/OSHA factsheet that reviews some of the key information about heat illness, to read as needed. (page 29)
  • An easy-to-read factsheet that you can copy and distribute to workers. (page 37)
The training is designed to be:

Short — it’s 45 minutes long, but if you’d prefer you can carry it out in three 15-minute sessions as tailgate meetings before the work shift or during “shade breaks.” Workers must get all the information before starting work and again during a heat wave.

Participatory — for workers to be able to ask questions and have some discussion, which increases the likelihood they will remember the information.

Easy to follow — so a supervisor or crew leader can lead the training.

In compliance — with the requirements laid out in the Cal/OSHA heat stress standard, General Industry Safety Order (GISO) 3395.

Lack of adequate drinking water, rest breaks, and shade are the harsh realities that induce heat illness among farm workers, resulting in missed workdays or even sudden death. With this easy-to-use training guide, employers and supervisors can take the necessary precautions and instruct workers about avoiding heat hazards as well as detecting early symptoms. It is also the law. Heat illness can be prevented and safety can be promoted for all.

This Guide was developed by the Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP), University of California, Berkeley for the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation (CHSWC) in the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). The Guide is part of the Worker Occupational Safety and Health Training and Education Program (WOSHTEP), which is administered by the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation in the Department of Industrial Relations through interagency agreements with LOHP, the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (WCAHS) at the University of California, Davis, and the Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program (LOSH) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

For more information:

To order a hard copy of the Guide, please contact CHSWC by writing to: 1515 Clay Street, 17th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612; by phone at (510) 622-3959; by fax at (510) 622-3265; or by email at CHSWC -

May 2016