“Lo and behold, OSHA has decided it can label certain sections of the farm as something else – by fiat – and send in their inspectors”
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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) decision to enforce regulations on certain small farms amounts to “blatant overreach” that unfairly targets small farmers, a pair of Senate Republicans argues.
Sens. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) are calling on the Labor Secretary Tom Perez to rescind OSHA guidance clarifying that the agency intends to enforce regulations on farms with less than 10 workers.
For decades, Congress has inserted language in appropriations bills prohibiting OSHA – an arm of the Labor Department – from enforcing provisions of the 1976 Occupational Safety and Health Act at farming operations with 10 or fewer employees.
But in recent months, the agency has begun issuing thousands of dollars in fines under the statute, saying that it has jurisdiction over non-farming operations – including grain storage – on farms, the lawmakers said.