In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHAct) of 1970 has established specific regulations that apply to agriculture (Table 4.2) (8). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforce these regulations in states covered by the OSHAct. On the federal level the small farm exemption to the OSHAct prohibits enforcement of OSHA regulations on farms with fewer than 11 employees. State plans are not required to operate under this exemption. The health care provider must determine whether OSHA or state regulations apply in each situation.
Section 18 of the OSHAct allows states to establish their own occupational safety and health plans that are "at least as effective" as the federal plan. Currently 26 states have their own occupational safety and health plans. These states may have more stringent regulation and additional regulations that apply to agriculture. For example, the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard does not apply to agriculture operations whereas the Washington State standard does. The OSHAct applies to most federal workplaces regardless of their location. Selected federal regulations that apply to agriculture are summarized in the following paragraphs.
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