Chris Just Ramping Up Farm Safety & Health Programs
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Christopher (Chris) Just began work on February 1, 2022 as our Farmworker Health & Safety Agent. In his role, he works with agricultural workers in the county to make sure that they are properly trained in all the aspects that will keep them safe and healthy in their jobs – particularly, heat stress, worker protection standards and Covid-19 prevention.
Farm workers, or agriculture workers, include any person employed full-time, part-time, or seasonally in agriculture work. Farm workers may also include family members or migrant laborers. Agriculture workers are a group protected under Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Worker Protection Standards (WPS). Farm workers need to become familiar with these regulations so they can work with their employer to promote the safety and well-being of the whole farm and all persons connected with it.
The N.C. Cooperative Extension Farmworker Health & Safety Program provides growers with required trainings while improving the health and safety of workers. The program provides educational resources to farmers and their workers to promote and improve healthy and safe on the farm. As an educator in the program Chris can provide training sessions that will engage workers in hands-on exercises that will help them retain information and change behavior in order to stay safe and healthy.
Chris has already provided training to several farmworkers at several farm locations in Henderson and Transylvania Counties. He is available to conduct these trainings as needed across Henderson and surrounding counties. To reach Chris, call him at the Extension office at 697-4891 or email him a firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of the more than 150,000 farmworkers in NC, less than 20% receive health care. Several factors enter into this including frequent mobility, transportation, language, fear, culture, lack of insurance and simply not knowing where to go to receive care. Farm labor ranks as one of the top three most dangerous occupations in the United States.
We hope you will welcome Chris to our staff and engage him as you see needs for his services. His program is funded by a grant from DHHS. We welcome Chris to our staff and are happy to see him transition from the training phase of his appointment to being out with our farmworkers and educating them. He will be a great asset to our farm community.