Yesterday, the House Education and Workforce Committee members raised concerns that OSHA has been intruding into family farms. In a letter to OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels, the committee requested documents surrounding guidance that unilaterally extends OSHA jurisdiction over farms with 10 or fewer employees.
The Committee members note in their letter:
“Now, without any public notice or review, the Obama administration has begun to overturn this legal standard through executive fiat. The June 2011 guidance redefines “farming operations” in order to allow OSHA inspectors onto family farms. Under the agency’s new and unprecedented logic, it appears anything outside of the actual growing of crops and raising of livestock could be deemed “non-farming operations” that would subject family farms to OSHA inspections. The guidance is a clear attempt to circumvent the law and the will of Congress.”
The letter was signed by Committee Chairman John Kline, Rep. Tim Walberg, Rep. David Roe, Rep. Todd Rokita, Rep. Howard “Busk” McKeon, Rep. Matt Salmon, Rep. Scott DesJarlais, Rep. Brett Guthrie, Rep. Susan Brooks, Rep. Larry Bucshon, and Rep. Richard Hudson. At the conclusion of the letter, the committee members urged OHSA to withdraw its guidance and ask the agency to deliver documents and communications regarding OSHA’s policy change by January 28.
For the complete text of the letter, see http://edworkforce.house.gov/uploadedfiles/01-14-13-osha-family_farms.pdf.