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OSHA inspections on dairy farms to minimize work injury

A little over a year ago, in response to safety and repeated work injury, Wisconsin dairy farms became subject to unscheduled inspections by OSHA that could occur at any time for any reason. Victims of poor safety on a farm who were hurt while working may find it difficult and confusing to collect compensation benefits from their employer without legal assistance. The ongoing OSHA inspections on dairy farms to minimize work injury have helped with employer accountability and are now being implemented in other states as well.

These OSHA inspections in Wisconsin enforce a higher level of safety and are meant to decrease hazards that could cause a work accident. The agency requires some farms to provide built-in equipment on machinery to prevent rolling while in use and barriers for protection. Proper rinsing stations and labels are required in areas where exposure to chemicals or toxins could cause work injury.

Farms who disregard safety regulations may be at risk for OSHA violations and fines, as well as responsibility in the event of a tragic work injury. A recent report revealed that the agency randomly picks inspection sites from a published list of farms that contain a labor camp or employ a minimum of 11 people. If a questionable situation or violation is discovered, it may take up to half a year for an investigation to be completed.

Some farms have responded to the OSHA drop-ins by increasing safety training for employees and making equipment changes as necessary. A worker who has been hurt because of a negligent employer who refused to make the proper adjustments may seek professional help in collecting rightful workers' compensation. Although accidents happen, OSHA inspections on dairy farms to minimize work injury could help prevent serious harm from occurring.

Source: Watertown Daily TImes, Dairy farmers get crash course on OSHA rules to prepare for random inspections, Ted Booker, Nov. 27, 2013

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