Farm Safety and Federal Responses to Occupational Health

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

ABSTRACT: There is always a trade‐off in occupational safety policy between the right for one person to make decisions and the right for others to avoid the consequences of that person's decisions. This conflict has driven the federal response to agricultural safety. Agriculture was an integral part of the original Occupational Safety and Health Administration bill, but farm owner and farm group lobbying contributed to the granting in 1976 of an exemption for all farms with 10 or fewer workers. Finding a proper balance between farm owners' and farm employers' interests is important, but copying the federal response to safety in other occupations will not lead to resolution. Comparing current federal safety expenditures on different federal occupational safety programs, such as to mine safety, slights fundamental differences between agriculture and other occupations, and improperly implies that agriculture is being discriminated against by federal safety efforts. The rights issue and the unavoidable value judgments they entail cannot be ignored. Because the people who would be protected by regulations are also largely the people who would be restricted by those regulations, the decision to create mandatory safety rules in agriculture is much more difficult than in other occupations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-292
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of Rural Health
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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