What Does the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety do?
The mission of the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (WCAHS) is to improve the health and safety of agricultural workers in the west through innovative research, interactive trainings, and tailored outreach. WCAHS is one of 12 agricultural health and safety centers in the U.S. established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The western region is one of the nation’s most intensive and productive with over 99,550 farms and ranches and over one million workers in Arizona, California, Hawai'i, and Nevada.
WCAHS consists of research and outreach cores that support agricultural stakeholders and communities in protecting worker health and safety and in the application of research to practice. WCAHS faculty and staff conduct research on high hazard topics, including heat-related illness, ATV safety, wildfire smoke, and more. There are five core research projects and a pilot/feasibility program that funds short-term projects and nurtures early-career researchers. Education and outreach specialists provide free, participatory, bilingual trainings on topics such as wildfire smoke exposure, heat illness prevention, and injury and illness prevention. Outreach and communications staff create practical resources based on safety best practices and regulations for employers, community-based organizations, and farmworkers.
Director: Kent Pinkerton
Program Director: Heather Riden