Occupational Safety and Health Administration  (OSHA) for Farmers

The Benefits:

     1. Protects employees by reducing the risk of on the job injuries.
     2. Prevents, reduces or limits OSHA fines.
     3. Saves money by:

     a.  Reducing the number of on-the- job injuries.
     b.  Reduces the liability of the company.
             c.   Providing a framework for employers to train all

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)  is the U.S. Government entity charged with assuring employers provide safe and healthful working conditions for employees.

Basic OSHA Regulations:

The law requires companies to:

1.   Minimize workplace hazards by workplace analysis
2.   Warn employees of potential hazards by implementing hazard prevention and control training by demonstration or classroom training.
3.   Provide safe tools and equipment.  Refer to the Tool Safety section of the Farm Safety Management Plan.
4.   Teach the proper use of personal protective equipment. Refer to the General Rules and Tool Safety sections of the Farm Safety Management Plan.

Additionally, the employees can be either trained or they can observe a demonstration on how to handle their tools safely.
Management leadership and employee involvement are part of the Farm Safety Management Plan.  Documentation, (keeping records)
is a part of the Farm Safety Management Plan.

Implementing The Safety Management Plan Sets Part 1 of OSHA’s 4-Point Plan in Motion

A Safety Policy Statement (an example):

     The personal safety and health of each employee is of primary importance to this business, its’ management personnel and owners.  All employees will be trained on safe use of equipment before that employee is expected to operate it.  No employee is expected to work at a job her she knows is not safe.  All employees are encouraged and expected to help detect and control hazards that can cause injuries and to inform your supervisor immediately of any unsafe situations you detect or if you have a question about safety.

Job Safety and Health Protection:

All businesses must post the “Job Safety and Health Protection” poster (#OSHA 2203) and many businesses post their Safety Policy Statement
beside that poster as well.  It is a good idea to also post the company’s safety rules at that location. A sample can be found within the text of
the Farm Safety Management Plan.

*(Look at the Farm Safety Management Plan Link above and go over the Safety Management Plan and Safety Rules near the bottom of the page.

How to conduct a work site analysis for safety:
Item 2 of OSHA’s 4-Point Plan

This is a physical inspection of the work site premises looking for potential hazards.  This must be performed a MINIMUM of (3) times per year!

Things to look for:

Damaged equipment such as rickety ladders (with loose or missing parts).
Litter and debris scattered in the work area or in travel paths or on steps.
Fire extinguishers for proper class of fire and pressure gauge for charge.
Equipment shields (damaged or missing).
First aid kits (located where expected and fully stocked).
Rule violations such as smoking in “no-smoking” areas.
Personal protective equipment violations.
All safety equipment required for application of restricted use pesticides, if used.
Talk to employees and ask about prior injuries and near misses.
Inspections should be conducted every 3-6 months.
Records must be kept on file:
Site Analysis showed: (as an example...)
1  Tools scattered over the shop floor;
2  Tractor with ROPS had seatbelt frayed;
3  No First Aid Kit in shop  

Once a hazard is found, make a written action plan to correct the problem.  The plan should contain the following information:

The Hazard
Corrective measures
Target completion date
Person responsible

Add the actual completion date when it is done, and the person that approved the correction, with their signature or initials in place.

All of this information is kept on file, and is a part of the record-keeping requirement of OSHA.

Injury Investigations

For a Serious Injury according to OSHA, the report will include ALL injuries that require medical attention, and at least (1) work day lost. *

Investigate all injury mishaps.  A thorough investigation of ALL injury incidents will provide for corrective measures and future prevention.  All investigations and injuries must be kept on file and reported to OSHA in a timely fashion.

Within 8 hours of a fatality.
All injury incidents must be investigated and a report kept on file.
Injuries are not required to be reported to OSHA on a regular basis, but records of all injuries and a written statement as how to prevent the injury and how the incident will be avoided in the future must be kept on file.

The training needs shown below are not required by OSHA but will assist in keeping your work site safe:

An emergency information sheet should be posted beside all work-site phones, cell phones,  and in trucks and trailers that take equipment off-site.

The sheet should include phone numbers for:
Fire Department
Poison Control Center
Electric/gas company
Chemtech 800-424-9300 for chemical spills
Directions to your place of business should be on the Emergency Information Sheet
All off-site crews should have an Emergency Information Sheet and first aid kit kept in close proximity.

Fire Extinguishers not required by OSHA but would be prudent to have on hand:

Class A – Combustibles like paper and wood
Class B – Gasoline, Diesel fuel, grease, solvents
Class C – Electrical equipment fires
Use the fire extinguisher that is approved for the fire’s class:  A, B or C.  
You can also use a fire extinguisher approved for all Classes A-C.
All off-site crews should carry an approved functional fire extinguisher.

* A reportable injury as defined by OSHA is one that requires medical attention and results in at least one lost day of work.