According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 570 people died from work-related injuries in agriculture in 2011. That’s 7 times the fatality rate for all workers in the private sector! Safety is an important topic in the agricultural industry. That being said, it’s no wonder OSHA has regulations that are meant to keep people safe specifically in agriculture. While some farms are exempt from OSHA regulations, did you know there are a few requirements that apply across the board? No matter if you employ 10 or less people total, or only employ immediate family, OSHA requires that both exempt and non-exempt operations abide by these rules.
Serious Injury/Death Reporting
This may be the more obvious regulation that applies to everyone, including OSHA exempt operations. With something like a serious injury or fatality, it makes sense that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would want to investigate the workplace and cause of such a serious accident. While some States have more strict rules, most have adopted these OSHA standards when it comes to serious injury and death reporting:
- Any fatality must be reported within 8 hours
- Any serious injury must be reported within 24 hours
- Serious injury is defined as in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss.
While OSHA still regulates these serious incidents, it’s important to remember that safety is about more than just being OSHA compliant. You should consider conducting your own investigation after any safety incident, even if OSHA isn’t involved.
This rule is specifically to help educate employees about their rights when reporting safety concerns at their workplace. OSHA mandates your company procedure for reporting work-related injuries must be reasonable and not deter or discourage employees from reporting. While OSHA has been requiring this from employers for some time now, recently they have updated the rule. Previously, OSHA was only able to act if a complaint was received within 30 days of the retaliation. With the update, they may now cite an employer even if there is no complaint filed, or if the employer has a program that deters reporting.
At a minimum, employers must have the “Job Safety and Health: It's the Law” poster in the establishment.
These two regulations apply to every business, including exempt farms. For those operations who need to ensure OSHA compliance in the area of reporting and recording, download our comprehensive guide to OSHA’s reporting and recording requirements. If you’re unsure about what OSHA requires for reporting and recording, or simply want to save time on your electronic reporting process, this guide is for you.
While it’s important to make sure you’re OSHA compliant, safety is more than just compliance. At Good Day's Work, we partner with your team to create a true safety culture. Let us help you get everyone home safe after a good day's work.