Minnesota dairy farmers aware of increasing OSHA audits on dairy farms were asking how to be better prepared for audits should they increase in Minnesota as well. A Minnesota dairy conference offered a seminar on the topic from an OSHA perspective, but it was short of answering dairy-specific questions.
An ERME grant enabled me to conduct a series of workshops for dairy owners and managers to make them aware of OSHA regulations that pertain to dairy farms, make them aware of obligations they have to workers and to report any safety incidents; and tools to use on their farms to help them comply with the rules.
Twenty-five farms participated in the workshops. At the close of each workshop participants were asked to write brief plans of action for the next six months to increase the safety of their farms, with the goal being a written safety plan. I sent reminders and requests for brief updates at 1, 3 and 6 months following the workshops.
At the end of six months, twenty of the farms had written plans or made significant progress toward writing their plans.
Unexpected results of the project included the discovery of another similar project in its early stages with which I could share curriculum and resources; invitations to present to non-dairy operators on related safety topics; connections to previously unknown regional and national resources; and inroad with large dairy employers where several hundred employees could be impacted per training session.
|Conference||2015 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference|
|Presentation Type||30-Minute Concurrent|