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Occupational Health Branch

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Preventing Work-Related Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis)

Construction and other workers who disturb soil are at riskValley fever is an illness caused by a fungus found in the soil in many parts of California, especially the Central Valley and Central Coast. For some, it can be serious and even fatal. People who inhale fungal spores released when the soil is disturbed, may get Valley fever. 

Construction workers and others who work outdoors are especially at risk for Valley fever if they dig or disturb soil, operate heavy machinery, or work under windy conditions. Other outdoor occupations at risk are wildland firefighters and oil and gas, agricultural, ranch, and mine workers.

The Occupational Health Branch (OHB) has investigated Valley fever outbreaks in groups of workers in many at-risk occupations and has developed recomendations for preventing work-related Valley fever. 

Photo: Construction and other workers who disturb soil are at risk.

​A new California law, AB 203, requires construction employers in high Valley fever counties to have trained their employees on Valley fever by May 1, 2020.  See below for resources to help employers train workers on Valley fever.

Webinars and trainings

  • NEW! VALLEY FEVER: Tailgate Training Guide for California Construction Workers – short, interactive training guide that covers AB 203 required worker training elements, March 2020

  • NEW! Preventing Valley Fever in Outdoor Workers – 1-hour webinar for anyone who plans outdoor projects or supervises employees who perform digging, excavation, or other dust disturbing activities in areas where Valley fever is common. Covers main AB 203 requirements, February 2020 
    View webinar   |   Download video (MP4, 225 MB)   |   Presentation slides (PDF) (coming soon)

  • Preventing Valley Fever in Construction Workers - 1-hour webinar for construction employers and health and safety professionals, 2018. Note: This presentation does NOT cover 2020 worker training requirements. 
    Presentation slides (PDF)   |    Recorded webinar presentation (password required: VFeverAug21)

OHB resources

OHB investigations

Additional information

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