Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops Enrollment

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What to Expect from OSHA Inspections

Libby Eiholzer, Bilingual Dairy
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

June 6, 2014

What to Expect from OSHA Inspections

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a division of the United States Department of Labor and exists to ?assure safe and healthful workplaces by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance? (www.osha.gov). OSHA jurisdiction excludes businesses that employ fewer than 10 employees as well as family farm workers (farm owners and their immediate family members). Is your farm exempt? (Keep in mind that the 10 employee minimum refers to a farm that has employed 10 or more individuals over the past 12 months, though not necessarily at the same time. Therefore, small farms with high employee turnover may in fact be included).

Why are we talking about it? Two pretty convincing reasons. One, there have been some changes to the Hazard Communication Standard (formerly called the Right to Know law) which requires agricultural employers to keep workers informed about the identities and hazards of chemicals in the workplace. The new Hazard Classification system will provide specific criteria for classifying health and physical hazards, labels will be changed to make them easier to understand, and Material Data Sheets will be renamed Safety Data Sheets and will have a new specific format. Two, OSHA officials have notified several individuals in the dairy industry in New York State that they are planning to focus their inspections on dairy farms in the coming years.

What can be expected from an OSHA inspection? By law, OSHA cannot give advanced notice of an inspection. They will show up at the farm and expect to carry out the inspection with no more than an hour?s delay. The owner does have the right to request a warrant before OSHA carries out the inspection, which could possibly delay the process by a few days. Advice given in a webinar which is now available on Farm Credit East?s website (see below) was to always be polite to inspectors, and even if you?re planning to request a warrant, take the time to ask as many questions of the inspectors as you can. They may have limited dairy farm knowledge, so getting to know them before the inspection starts will help you to know how to talk to them and how much dairy jargon you can use.

Start with the Hazard Communication Standard. Reviewing the HCS is the best place to start in bringing your farm into compliance with OSHA regulations. This is the area in which farms have generally received the most citations during OSHA inspections. Farms must inform employees of any chemical hazards in the workplace and provide written protocols and trainings on how to deal with these chemicals. Once you meet the HCS, then it is time to prioritize what else needs to be done on your farm in order to come into compliance, which might include making changes to manure storage facilities, adding guarding to machinery or providing animal handling training to employees.

Here are a few good resources to help you make sure your farm is in compliance with OSHA regulations:
? Farm Credit East hosted a webinar in August 2013 entitled ?OSHA Compliance: What Farm Businesses Need to Know!? https://www.farmcrediteast.com/en/Webinars/2013OSHAwebinar.aspx
? The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) offers free on-farm safety trainings in English and Spanish. http://www.nycamh.com/programs/farmsafetytrainings/



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Upcoming Events

NWNY Dairy Day 2022

December 6, 2022
Batavia, NY

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!

Theme: The Future of Your Dairy's Youngstock

The NWNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops team will be holding it's first "Dairy Day" this December! We will be bringing the latest in dairy research to you with this in-person, 1-day conference.

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2023 Corn Congress - Batavia, NY

Event Offers DEC Credits

January 5, 2023
Batavia, NY

Registration is now open for the 2023 Corn Congress - January 5 & 6, 2023

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2023 Corn Congress - Waterloo, NY

Event Offers DEC Credits

January 6, 2023
Waterloo, NY

Registration is now open for the 2023 Corn Congress - January 5 & 6, 2023

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The NWNY Team Blog

Our goal for this blog is to share with farmers and allied industry professionals, technical and applicable resources regarding all aspects of dairy farming, livestock and small farms, field crops and soils, and topics related to farm business management and precision agriculture.

The blog will feature Crop Alerts, Dairy Alerts, Bilingual (Spanish) Resources, Upcoming Events and more from our team members. This blog is free for everyone to use, explore and enjoy. When new material is published, subscribers will receive an email notification.

We hope you enjoy this new platform, and are looking forward to engaging with you in the future!
https://blogs.cornell.edu/nwny-dairy-livestock-field-crops/


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