While an OSHA inspection can make any Illinois dairy farm owner nervous, there are things that can be done ahead of time to reduce that stress. First, any potential hazards should be identified and plans made to reduce or eliminate those hazards. Once that has been done, it is time to educate and train employees about those hazards and how they can stay safe while on the job.
Training should be ongoing as safety hazards may change or new ways to combat them available as time goes on. Employees should also be tested on a regular basis to ensure that they take safety seriously and are absorbing the information that they are given. It is important to have safety plans and procedures in writing to present to an OSHA inspector during a site visit. There should also be records of any work-related accidents that result in serious injury or death.
Employers have eight hours to report those incidents, and reporting may be done through the OSHA website. Dairy farms that have more than 10 employees are subject to OSHA inspections, and most inspections are the result of an incident or referrals by third parties. However, it is possible than inspection will be done even if an accident doesn’t occur, which means that organized and detailed records should be kept at all times.
A person who is injured in a work-related accident on a dairy farm may be eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. However, eligibility for agricultural workers is not necessarily automatic if the worker is a seasonal employee, which makes having an attorney review the case advisable.