The Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, released a new regulation in California specifying lighting requirements for operation of agricultural equipment at night and agricultural employees who are working at night.
The regulation went into effect July 1.
Although these new requirements aren’t as intrusive as originally proposed, thanks to the involvement of the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association, they are still imposing.
Details Regarding New Regulations
The new requirements include the following highlights, when working between sunset and sunrise:
• All tractors, trucks and harvest equipment must have a light at the front of the equipment and one rear light to illuminate equipment.
• Lighting must be provided at the following illumination levels:
— Meeting and meal/rest areas – 3 foot-candles.
— Around agricultural operations, pathways leading to and around bathrooms and drinking water stations, inside bathrooms and storage areas – 5 foot-candles.
— Intermittently exposed points of operation or moving parts of machinery, or using tools that can potentially cause cuts, lacerations or punctures – 10 foot-candles.
— Performing maintenance work on equipment – 20 foot-candles.
— Note: The illumination levels can be provided by the use of one or more light sources including hands-free portable lighting (e.g. headlamp), equipment-mounted lighting or other sources.
• At the beginning of every shift, a safety meeting must be held to inform employees of location of restrooms, drinking water, break areas, bodies of water and high traffic areas.
• Employers must provide and require workers to wear high-visibility garments.
For questions or additional information, please contact the CCGGA office at 559-252-0684.
This information was originally published in the July 2020 issue of the CCGGA newsletter.
TCGA Summer Interns Check In
The Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association is continuing its summer internship program this year. The association says the goal is “to give these young people a chance to see if cotton ginning is a career they may want to pursue and showcase their value to potential employers.”
In addition to the TCGA interns, the Texas Cotton Ginners’ Trust is also hosting an intern this summer.
The two students selected to participate in the 2020 TCGA program are Amos Emanis, who attends Texas A&M University, and Oscar Herrera, who attends South Plains College.
Emanis is interning at United Ag Co-op Inc. in El Campo, and Herrara is interning at United Cotton Growers Cooperative in Levelland. Here are their June reports describing their experience so far.
“Clay Whitley showed me around the Danevang and Hilje cotton gins on the first day, as well as a great place for a burger. For the majority of the first week, Zach, a gin-hand, installed a new Samuel Jackson humidifier in the Danevang gin. We hooked up the propane and water line, along with any electrical lines we needed for it to run smoothly.
“The second week took me to Hilje. The press needed to be reassembled and cleaned, which took a total of eight gin hands and a small group of welders to accomplish — not to mention a crane that performed the brunt of the work. Altogether, my second week introduced me to more grease, grime and good country-style food than I have seen in a long time.”
“My first month working at United Cotton Growers has been a great learning experience. I love working with my hands and that’s all we do here. Being new to this field of work was scary at first because I didn’t know anything about a cotton gin. But these very kind and welcoming co-workers have made it easy to settle.
“Since I started working at the United Cotton Growers Cooperative Gin in Levelland, I’ve been working under Alex Salinas — the ginner. Alex has been teaching me how he normally does the job when the cotton season starts. Since the season still hasn’t started, we have been rebuilding, repairing and replacing crucial components that make the gin run.
“We have rebuilt an air motor vent that needed the shaft and bearing replaced. We’ve installed new stick machine cylinders and screwed in the saws. We have also installed a new grid bed under a spike cylinder on a pre-cleaner using chain hoists. I have never seen anything more complicated happen so easily.
“From there, we moved on to the disperser head where we replaced one of the cylinder bearings and serpentine belts using multiple chain hoists. Finally, we took out the chains from the module feeder cylinders and are currently soaking those in oil. As I am typing this report, we are rebuilding the module feeder catwalk for easier access.
“Overall, I have really enjoyed this internship because it gave me a chance to experience life at the gin. I am going to take advantage of the rest of this internship to learn as much as I can and hope I can get an opportunity to work part-time as I continue my college career. I would like to thank Aaron Nelsen for this great opportunity to learn about the cotton gin industry.”
The Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association contributed this information.