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80 farmworkers trained in pesticide safety through Maui program

Maui Economic Opportunity Community Services Director Cassi Yamashita leads a heat stress prevention and pesticide safety training for farmworkers at Kauai Nursery and Landscape last week. About 70 people participated in the required annual training. PC: MEO

About 80 farmworkers on Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island were trained in pesticide and heat stress protection last week by Maui Economic Opportunity’s National Farmworker Jobs Program trainers.

The Worker Protection Standard, Heat Stress Prevention and Pesticide Safety trainings are required annually for all agricultural operations. MEO offers the training for no cost to farms across the state; the federally funded NFJP is the only program MEO offers statewide.

NFJP caseworker Suzette Bacarro puts on a training in pesticide safety and heat stress prevention last week at Royal Kona Coffee Mill. PC: MEO

MEO certified trainers Uilani Ah Chan, Suzette Bacarro, both NFJP case managers, and Cassi Yamashita, Community Services Director, conducted classes for 10 workers at Royal Kona Coffee Mill and 70 workers at Kauaʻi Nursery and Landscape.

In addition to Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island, NFJP supports farmworkers and farms on Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i and Oʻahu.

The trainings teach that water, rest and shade are essential to preventing heat problems. For workers handling pesticides, it is important that they wear a button-down shirt. Should a worker be contaminated by pesticides, removing the shirt by unbuttoning reduces the spread of the exposure.

NFJP supports farmworkers, their families and farms that employ them. For workers, NFJP seeks to generate greater economic stability by connecting farmworkers to job training, better opportunities and supportive services for themselves and their families. For the farms, NFJP supports on-the-job training with subsidies and defrays the cost of required certifications, such as the Worker Protection Standard.

For more information about the heat stress and pesticide prevention training, contact NFJP at 808-344-5550 or email cs@meoinc.org.

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2022/07/23/80-farmworkers-trained-in-pesticide-safety-through-maui-program/

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