Daily News Archives
Drift Sends 23 Farmworkers to the Hospital
The grove where the spraying occurred was only about 50 feet away, reported the shocked supervisor of the exposed farmworkers to the Bakersfield Californian. He could not believe that they were spraying during the day in such close vicinity. San Joaquin Helicopters was the independent contractor, but the pesticides were sprayed from the ground. The company have made themselves fully available for investigation.
Many workers returned to work the day following the incident, however nearly half had to go back to the hospital because they were still feeling ill.
Dan Starkey from Kern County Environmental Health states, “I think they were just doing the normal application, “It just happened to get the overspray and it happened to be too close.”
Some blame the incident on field supervisors. "I don't blame those who were spraying because they are just following orders. I blame the supervisors who treat us like we are worthless and replaceable because of how many of us there are," one farm worker stated.
Kern County Supervisor, Michael Rubio, plans to work
with the Agriculture Commission, EMS, and the pesticide applicators
to understand what happened and prevent a similar situation from occurring
in the future. The United Farm Worker Union will also be conducting
an independent investigation.