Oregon OSHA's

Health and Safety Resource

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Print version

June-July 2017

Safety is no accident: The journey of Diamond Fruit Growers

Headquartered in the Hood River Valley, Diamond Fruit Growers has served a variety of agricultural markets for more than 100 years. It views workplace safety as critical to its current and future success.

The 104-year-old farmer-owned cooperative handles and ships high-quality pears.

Diamond Fruit Growers created a mantra that goes to the heart of its operations: "Safety is no accident: The journey to zero." The goal is zero employee accidents.

workers with pears on a conveyer belt

Employee safety at Diamond Fruit doesn't just occur by accident, but rather through strategic and measurable planning."

Mike Moore, human resources/safety coordinator for Diamond Fruit Growers Inc.

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Administrator's Message

Safety discussions must grapple with loss of experience, expertise

Like many organizations, Oregon OSHA has faced a number of retirements in recent years, and it doesn't appear that the pace will be lessening any time soon.

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Did you know?

Cultivating a safe workplace requires commitment and know-how on the part of employers. Oregon OSHA's most violated agriculture rules include: toilet and hand washing facilities for hand labor work, living areas and site requirements for agricultural labor housing, no safety committees or safety meetings, and no written hazard communication program.

Here is a brief checklist to be mindful of when promoting safe practices on the farm:

  • You display the Oregon OSHA Job Safety and Health poster where employees will see it.
  • You either have an effective safety committee or hold effective safety meetings that bring labor and management together to promote workplace safety and health.
  • You provide basic sanitation facilities and supplies for agricultural workers who prepare, prune, plant, harvest, package, or do other field-crop hand labor.
  • You registered farm labor housing with Oregon OSHA by contacting the agency at least 45 days before the first day of operation or occupancy of any housing and related facilities which were not previously registered.

For more details about providing a safe agricultural workplace, read the Oregon OSHA publication "Cultivate a Safe Agricultural Workplace!"

Datapoints:

In 2016, the top five Oregon OSHA standards cited during inspections in the agriculture industry were as follows:

  •   Requirements for safety meetings – violations, 28; initial penalties, $0
  •   Toilet and handwashing facilities for hand labor work – violations, 17; initial penalties, $1,310
  •   Living areas for agricultural labor housing – violations, 15; initial penalties, $200
  •   Site requirements for agricultural labor housing – violations, 15; initial penalties, $0
  •   Field sanitation notice – violations, 12; initial penalties, $500

Quotable:

We farm workers are closest to food production. We were the first to recognize the serious health hazards of agriculture pesticides to both consumers and ourselves.”

Cesar Chavez, American labor leader and
civil rights activist (1927 – 1993)

Caught in, struck by, and burned: A summary of Oregon farming accidents in 2016

Summer is the busiest time of year for many Oregon farmers. Harvesting crops such as berries, grass seed, and wheat. typically begins in late June and other crops are grown and harvested through September. Those months from June through September also account for more than 40 percent of accepted workers compensation claims for injuries.

Farming is also one of the most dangerous occupations in America.

Six workers died on Oregon farms in 2016, and there were five other workers whose nonfatal injuries required treatment for at least one night in a hospital. How did the work-related accidents happen?

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Ask Technical

If a crane's boom comes in contact with a structure during a construction project, does the crane need to be inspected? If so, who is qualified to do the inspection?

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Going the distance

Company: Wellness 2000 Inc.

Bea Berry, president, CEO, and founder of Wellness 2000 Inc.

President and CEO: Bea Berry

Workforce: 20 employees with offices in Medford; Portland; Vancouver, Wash.; and Boise, Idaho; national network of hundreds of temporary employees for contract support

Bea Berry, president, CEO, and founder of Wellness 2000, Inc., says the influence of the digital age – and the distraction that frequently comes with it – is an emerging issue in workplace safety and health.

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Don't miss out

September 19 & 20, 2017
Central Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Conference
Riverhouse on the Deschutes • Bend

October 17 - 19, 2017
Southern Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Conference
Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites • Ashland

June- July
Upcoming education workshops

Get the details

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Reprinting, excerpting, or plagiarizing any part of this publication is fine with us. Please send us a copy of your publication or inform the Resource editor as a courtesy. If you have questions about the information in Resource, please call 503-378-3272.

For general information, technical answers, or information about Oregon OSHA services, please call 503-378-3272 or toll-free within Oregon, 800-922-2689.