OSHA program inspects Wisconsin dairies to prevent accidents

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A new program takes OSHA inspectors to Wisconsin dairies, looking for ways to protect farm employees from injuries and deaths related to preventable incidents.

OH&S reports inspectors will conduct comprehensive safety and health inspections at dairies with more than 10 non-immediate family member employees and those that have had an active temporary labor camp within the last 12 months.

"Far too many workers are injured and killed in preventable incidents at dairy farms in Wisconsin," said Mark Hysell, OSHA's area director in Eau Claire, Wis. "This program will enable OSHA inspectors to visit dairy farms and ensure that all required measures are taken to protect workers."

Injuries around the dairy are related to manure storage, machine guarding, confined spaces, animal handling and vehicles without roll-over protection.

The Wisconsin Dairy Farm Census of Agriculture data shows about 40 percent of hired farm laborers are immigrants who are less likely to be familiar with safety and health guidelines.

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