New Cal/OSHA Regulation for Outdoor Agricultural Operations During Hours of Darkness

Written by: Kahn Soares & Conway, LLP

 On Wednesday, July 1 new Cal/OSHA requirements regarding the operation of agricultural equipment between sunset and sunrise will go into effect. The regulation stipulates:

  • All tractors, self-propelled farm equipment and trucks used during these hours of darkness shall be equipped with at least one headlight which illuminates a minimum of 50 feet ahead, and one rear light to illuminate equipment at the rear.
  • Employers shall provide and maintain hands-free portable personal lighting or area light or both to employees.
  • Employers shall provide and require employees to wear high visibility garments that meet the designated standards.
  • Supervisors shall conduct safety meetings at the beginning of each shift to inform employees of the location of restrooms, drinking water, designated break areas, nearby bodies of water and high traffic areas.
  • The following illumination level requirements:
  • Meeting areas and meal/rest areas must have 3 foot-candles.
  • Outdoor agricultural operations (unless otherwise specified), pathways leading to and around restrooms and drinking water, inside restroom facilities, and storage areas accessed by employees must have 5 foot-candles.
  • Task lighting to agricultural operations that involve the use of tools that can potentially cause cuts, lacerations or punctures must have 10 foot-candles.
  • Task lighting for maintenance work on equipment must have 20 foot-candles.

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