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Don’t Let Drought Conditions Dry Up Workplace
Safety Efforts

California is currently experiencing its driest year on record, at 20 percent of normal average rainfall for this time of the year, despite recent wet weather. Water storage is also at an all-time low, with nine of California’s 12 major reservoirs at below 50 percent capacity. Federal and state officials have also announced that little to no water will be available to California agriculture from those sources.

In response to the crisis, Governor Brown has proposed emergency drought legislation containing more than $687 million in aid, and declared a State of Emergency directing state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare California for drought conditions. Many local water districts have already imposed either mandatory or voluntary water restrictions.

No matter your industry, severe drought conditions may affect you in many ways. With limited water, don’t let your daily business functions be disrupted or, if an emergency arises, cause necessary resources to be unavailable.

All of us must do our part to maintain a safe work environment in the case of a severe water shortage. Tips to help are:  

  • Establishing an additional water storage system/reservoir in case direct water supply is restricted.
  • Clearing/cleaning up brush around buildings and store wood products away from flammable structures.
  • Making sure your machinery and vehicles are mechanically sound to prevent sparking or overheating.
  • Reevaluating your smoking area; make sure it is clear of any fire hazards.
  • Using the proper protective equipment when working around dry dusty soil.
  • Making water conservation a part of your emergency plan, appoint a water efficiency coordinator.
  • Evaluating hydration needs for employees.
  • Contacting your local emergency personnel/fire department for additional guidance.

Additional resources below:

California Department of Water Resources
State Fund Safety Meeting Topic: “Fire Safety – In Case of Fire”
Governor Brown-Discussion With LA Water Leaders
http://www.epa.gov/watersense/

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