Richard Longo spends a lot of time in meetings with farmworkers and their employers talking about driver safety.

The Department of Labor Wage and Hour administrator recalled one meeting in which he emphasized the importance of wearing a seat belt. The next day, a van transporting farmworkers to work rolled over.

“No one was injured or died because they were all wearing belts,” Longo said.

“Transportation incidents,” including tractor accidents, were the deadliest threat to farmworkers nationwide in 2020, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

And as the days shorten and precipitation increases, so, too, does the danger of driving to and from work.

“You have this mix of things that add to the situation that probably make it more dangerous,” Longo said.



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