Given the amount of death and injury, regulatory agencies continue to hear that there are still employers that don’t provide water, don’t provide shade or rest period.
There have over 55 heat related death in California agricultural fields over the last decade according to California Occupational Safety Health agency.
Due to 10 deaths in 2005 California implemented a heat protection law yet most farm workers remain unaware of its requirements such as additional access to water, shade and heat-protection education and training.
The heat-stress epidemic is hard to solve without notification and education given fast-paced piece rate system currently in place.
Farm workers harvest in some of the hottest regions of the country with at least four US farm workers die from heat annually—20 times the rate in all non-military employees, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In California employers are now required to give workers 10 minutes of rest every two hours, when the heat exceeds 95 degrees. Workers remain unaware of that heat level in the fields lacking immediate notification.
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An app to be piloted in the hot agricultural fields of California that protects the lives of farm workers with a wearable watch application that provides immediate heat warnings, health notification and proactive heat stress education. My mission is to change “work or health to work AND health.”
We can change the high incidence of heat illness through technology that brings farmers, contractors and farm workers together binded by a common app platform able to provide immediate health related information and important heat alerts.
I am raising funds proving that technology concept as easy as the Amber Alert that notifies our smart phones should be applied in our agricultural fields. A similar notification of excessive heat and protective measures is possible.
This IOS Apple Watch application will do the following:
1. Allow farmworkers to receive notifications when the temperature exceeds a certain threshold of 95 degrees, so that that farmworkers working in the fields take their legally mandated break for water, shade, and rest.
2. Allow farm workers to receive notifications containing tips on what to wear, eat, and drink to prepare for work in the fields based off weather data and individualized medical information.
3. Host short educational articles, videos, and quizzes to educate farm workers about how to ensure their own safety and health as well understand their legal rights on the job.
4. Function as a two-way emergency hotline to 911, contractors and health agencies by the utilizing built in GPS tracking services in order to locate farm workers in periods of distress caused by heat and dehydration.
Farm workers will have access to wearable Apple Watches in the pilot. Farmers will either directly or through their contractors provide a wearable watch at the beginning of the harvest job to their farm workers. Farmers in the original pilot will purchase the watches, however we are fundraising to help defer this cost. In the future, as an financial incentive, we expect farmers and insurance companies seeking lower workers compensation rates to use the watch/app to reduce heat illness and improve health.
The original concept and plan for the farm work heat stress protection app was the brain child of our founder Faith Florez, who was fortunate enough to have her proposal selected by graduate coding students at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering in 2016.
The final product was the first ever farm worker heat notification web-based application developed after an intense year of meetings with farmers, contractors, farm workers, and state regulators.
We are raising startup funding the Calor App. All donations to the project are tax-deductible as a project offered by the Latina Legacy Foundation.
The total cost to finish development of the app is $50,000 and we seek an additional $12,000 to help run 3 pilot programs summer of 2018. We also have a stretch goal of an additional $20,000 to help defer the cost of the Apple watch itself.
The fundraising campaign is hosted on StartSomeGood which is the world’s leading crowdfunding platform for social impact projects. The crowdfunding site is helping us raise the funds necessary to create tangible social good for farm workers that toil in the hot agricultural fields of this nation.
Faith Florez is currently a senior at La Canada High School and has a passion for protecting the lives of farm workers. She was born and raised in the predominately Latino Central Valley in early childhood.
Faith's family, the Florez's, have worked and lived in farm worker communities since the 1900's, picking every crop imaginable -- grapes, almonds, roses, cotton, watermelons, strawberries, and carrots. Her great-grandmother, Stella Florez, died as a result of years of farm labor, leaving a lasting impact on Faith’s desire to use her education to create social impact solutions for farm workers.
Furthering her educational experiences, Faith attended Smith College’s Young Women Creative Writing Program and Brown University‘s Summer College Program. A national AP Scholar, Faith is also a 4 year varsity swimmer, Op-Ed contributor, Theater/Drama actor and sings in her schools prestigious Chamber Choir.
Faith was selected a HerLead Fellow based in New York City during the summer of 2017. She was among 30 young high school women chosen nationally through a partnership between Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lou & Grey, and Vital Voices designed to equip young women with the leadership skills they need to effect global progress and invest in their communities.
A select number of the most powerful ideas receive a HERlead Project Grant to help further implementable projects. Faith‘s farmworker app recently received this distinction aimed at helping young women leaders bring their vision to life.
Faith is also researching issues affecting the farm worker community, currently working with Yale Professor Anthony Mendez on climate change, water and disadvantaged communities in California’s Central Valley as her Senior Year independent project.
Her original concept for a farm worker heat app was selected by the USC Viterbi School of Engineering in 2016 where she lead a coding development team for over a year ending with a web-based heat stress app.
Recognizing she comes from a legacy of farm workers, Faith believes that its up to the next generation to leverage technology for real world solutions to make back breaking work humane and health focused.
Faith started with a vision that we need to update protections for farm workers laboring in our grueling century’s old agricultural industry with technology innovations. Her new Calor app, through cellular capabilities, is now able to provide new wearable protections unthinkable a decade ago that solve everyday work problems such as heat stress.
Big concepts do not happen with out support and guidance. Faith has been fortunate to have a strong set of women mentors to learn from including Senator Kamala Harris (CA) where she completed an internship and had support from HERlead mentors like Kah Walla, Maria Pacheco, and Priti Paktar.
A project of the Latina Legacy Foundation.
A non-profit organization whose goal is to empower young women to create change in Latino communities by solving traditional legacy problems with a unique cause-driven technology approach. Our focus is on Latina dominated industries including farm workers, garment sweatshops, and domestic home care.
456 Atlantic Ave, Shafter, CA 93263, US