Small Farms On OSHA Radar

Small Farms On OSHA Radar

Small Farms On OSHA Radar. I'm Greg Martin with today's Line On Agriculture.

If you have any grain bins on your farming operation and have 10 or less employees - you might be on the radar of OSHA. Former Ag Secretary, now U.S. Senator Mike Johanns from Nebraska says OSHA has a new classification for the farm under the Obama Administration and is cracking down on one Holt County producer.

JOHANNS: OSHA comes out there and they say to this farm, your grain bin operation doesn't comply and we know you're under 10 employees and so we're going to fine you. And the amount of that fine is $132-thousand dollars. Once again, it's this craziness and we're going to do everything we can to stop OSHA dead in their tracks on this.

Johanns says grain bins now - will it be hay storage next?

JOHANNS: The law is on our side. This is a situation where very, very clearly for 35 plus years Congress has looked at this issue and said look, if it's 10 or fewer employees on a farming operation, you just don't have jurisdiction here. OSHA is now doing everything they can to work around that so

Senator Johanns says Congress has included language in appropriations bills since 1976 expressly prohibiting OSHA enforcement actions against farmers with 10 or less employees. But OSHA says nearly every farm would fall outside the scope of the exemption because almost all use some sort of grain storage facility as part of normal farm operations.

That's today's Line On Agriculture. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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