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Artikel

27 Sep 2023

Autor:
By Amy Mayer, Civil Eats (USA)

USA: Climate crisis increasing nighttime harvesting to avoid heat, but health & safety risks remain

“Nighttime Harvests Protect Farmworkers From Extreme Heat, but Bring Other Risks”

…Elizabeth Strater, director of strategic campaigns with United Farm Workers, says for field crops like onions and garlic, harvesting at night by headlamp or flood lights poses less risk than picking tree fruit because ladders aren’t needed, the short plants don’t create shadows, and workers know exactly what to pick even if they can’t completely see what they’re doing. The produce itself is also more durable. Winegrape harvest also often takes place at night…

…As climate change pushes summer temperatures higher on more consecutive days, and scientists are forecasting even warmer years ahead, more workers may find themselves in the field at night and in the early morning hours. And while some safety measures have been put in place, more data is needed to assess the challenges workers face…

…overnight temperatures can be more comfortable…

But night and early morning work poses another set of challenges. In 2020, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1,350 people suffered non-fatal injuries between the hours of 8pm and 8am…

There is research that links a long-term shift to night work in other fields to increased risks to heart disease and diet-related illnesses, but it’s not yet clear what how it will impact seasonal farmworkers…