Category Archives: Training

E. coli and Preventative Protocols

July 2, 2019

Hand-washing sign

Protecting the health and safety of the fair-going public as well as that of your animal exhibitors and fair staff is a commitment and a responsibility CFSA takes seriously. The recent outbreak underscores the importance of establishing and enforcing precautions and safety protocols that can help prevent the spread of E. coli and other infectious diseases.

Get a tune-up of your fair’s hand-washing program: As a pool program participant, you’re encouraged to tap the knowledge of your fair’s CFSA Risk Control specialist to evaluate your fair’s written Illness and Injury Prevention Program (IIPP) for up-to-date health and safety protocols and actions. Your specialist can also help with the placement of hand-washing signs, staff and pre-fair animal exhibitor meetings, and more.

Hand-washing signs in English and Spanish provided by CDFA’s Fairs & Expositions (F&E) Branch are available from Melissa Thurber at or you can print out your own signs from the F&E website:

In addition, we encourage you to explore these resources:

From the Centers for Disease Control:
E. coli Questions and Answers –

Health and safety themed videos for livestock exhibitors:
Play it Safe, Livestock Germ Safari and Handwashing:

Bio-Security in 4-H for Visitors:

You can also access the Bio-Security video from the CDFA website:  

If you have any questions, please contact Rebecca Desmond, 916/263-6161,; Tom Amberson, 916/263-6180,; or Becky Bailey-Findley at 916/263-6160,


June is National Safety Month: Lift Smart

It’s probably no surprise that you can injure your back lifting light objects just as easily as you can lifting heavier ones. Avoiding injury comes down to using safe lifting techniques:

Proper lifting technique


  1. Before you lift something, make sure you can handle it safely. Ask someone to help you if necessary, or break the large load down into more easily manageable small loads. Use a hand truck or dolly. And make sure the pathway to wherever you are taking the item(s) is clear of tripping hazards or obstacles.
  2. Use proper body mechanics when lifting. Stand close to the object, with your feet about shoulder width apart. Squat down, bending at the hips and knees; keep your back straight. As you grip the load, arch your lower back by pulling your shoulders back, sticking your chest out, and tucking in your chin. Keep the load close to your body.
  3. When setting the load down in its new location, squat down, bending at the hips and knees and keep your lower back arched in. Deposit the load close to your body.
  4. Turn, don’t twist your body. To turn, initiate the turn with your lower body; your upper body will follow.
  5. Push, don’t pull. When using a hand truck or dolly, push it, don’t pull it. Pushing puts less strain on your back.
  6. Store heavy boxes and objects lower than your waist. This way you’ll never have to lift them higher than your waist as this puts a lot of undue stress on your back. In fact, it’s one of the surest ways to injure your back!



Save the Date: New Fair CEO Orientation

Wednesday & Thursday,  April 10 & 11 in Sacramento

Woman holding a date book.Hosted by California Fair Services Authority (CFSA), Western Fairs Association (WFA) and CDFA’s Fairs & Expositions (F&E) Branch, the orientation kicks off with a day at the Fair Services Building, home to CFSA and WFA. You’ll meet agency staff and get an overview of each agency’s responsibilities. You’ll also learn about the resources available to you from CFSA and WFA, and how CFSA, WFA and F&E work together on conferences, conventions, training opportunities, and more.

You’ll spend Thursday downtown at the CDFA offices, meeting with staff from F&E. You’ll enjoy a continental breakfast followed by sessions on everything from California State Rules to Financial Reporting and Board Meetings 101.

As we get closer to the orientation’s dates, you’ll receive a full agenda along with a short registration form, hotel suggestions and directions to the Fair Services Building and to CDFA’s headquarters.

If you are a new or new-ish fair CEO who has been on the job for a few weeks, a few months or even a year or two, this orientation is designed for you! If you want to make sure you are on the New Fair CEO Orientation mailing list and would like to attend the orientation, please contact Melissa Thurber at CFSA. You can reach her at (916) 263-6163 or 


Snapshot: A quick look at CFSA’s accomplishments in 2017

It may seem a little late in the year to be publishing a snapshot of CFSA’s accomplishments in 2017, but we’ve been BUSY! Even so, we’ve already begun compiling our 2019 To Do list and “Snapshot of CFSA’s 2018 Accomplishment Highlights” is HIGH on the list. Until then, we hope you’ll enjoy reading about some of our highlights from 2017

Overheated? Here’s Some Timely Advice for Heading Off Heat-Related Illnesses


Man looking at a smoking engine in his car

Unless your fairground is lucky enough to be on the California coast, chances are it’s really hot where you are. But even with daily temperatures climbing into the 80s, 90s and 100s, there’s still work that needs to be done outside.  What to do? Let’s check in with Tom Amberson, CFSA’s risk control manager, for a hot-weather refresher course that will help everyone keep their cool:

You and your colleagues are at a greater risk of heat illness (when your body holds in more heat than it can release) if you:

  • are dehydrated (dehydration is your worst enemy)
  • aren’t used to working in the heat
  • are in poor health or are older
  • have previously experienced a heat-related illness
  • are on a low-salt diet
  • take medications or over-the-counter drugs

And temperatures don’t even have to be in the 100s to be potentially dangerous. According to the National Weather Service Heat Index, a temperature of 90 degrees in the shade with 30% humidity calls for a warning of “extreme caution” for heat illnesses including heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat stroke. When it’s above 100 degrees in the shade, the Heat Index registers “extreme danger.” In either case, the prudent choice is to limit work or to stop working outside altogether.

To help prevent heat-related illnesses, health experts recommend wearing lightweight clothing, drinking plenty of cool water BEFORE heading out to work as well as while working (aim for at least one 8 oz. cup every 20 minutes) and taking frequent rest breaks in the shade or a cool area when working in the sun.  Also try to schedule outdoor work for early mornings, when possible, and to avoid heated areas.

To stay hydrated, choose water or sports beverages over sodas and other drinks containing caffeine or sugar. Avoid alcohol altogether as the more you drink, the more dehydrated you will become.

Symptoms that could indicate trouble ahead include profuse sweating or no sweating, a pale or flushed complexion and flu-like symptoms such as sudden weakness, nausea, fever, chills and headaches. Other red-flag symptoms are dizziness, loss of coordination, blurry vision, confusion, fainting, vomiting and seizures. If you or a co-worker experience any of these symptoms or if you simply begin feeling ill, stop working, tell someone and take a break in a shady, cool area. Workers suffering from painful muscle spasms or tired muscles should also take a break in the shade and drink cool water or a sports beverage.  Do not give or take salt tablets or fever medications.

If a co-worker loses consciousness, move him or her to a shaded area and immediately seek medical help. Until that help arrives, cool the worker with fanning, by soaking his or her clothing with cool water and by applying cool compresses. Do not provide your co-worker with anything to drink.

If your fair is a member of CFSA’s Workers’ Compensation Pool Program, talk to your risk control specialist about on-site training and/or help developing a written heat-illness prevention program. The written program can be a stand-alone program or incorporated into your fair’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program.

Questions? Please contact Tom Amberson at (916) 263-6180 or



2016 California Fair Regional Training

Thursday, February 25, was a wrap for the second of the two winter California fair  Regional Trainings sponsored by CDFA’s Fairs & Expositions branch, coordinated by CFSA, and hosted by the California State Fair & Exposition – Cal Expo, and The Big Fresno Fair.

We welcomed a vibrant mix of fair CEOs and business assistants, deputy managers,  fair board members – long timers and newbies alike, exhibit reps, accounting and office techs, entry supervisors, maintenance staff, and more to Cal Expo and The Big Fresno Fair. Thank you everyone who attended!

Roundtable participants at the 2016 Regional Training - Cal Expo
Here’s a peek at one of Cal Expo’s popular roundtables. That’s Renee, Raechelle and Katherine from CFSA, top left, leading the session.
Developing an Effective Contract roundtable at the Cal Expo Regional Training
The Developing an Effective Contract roundtable was standing room only.