Cal/OSHA High Hazard Unit Conducting Inspections on Dairies, Feedlots

Kevin Abernathy, General Manager of the Milk Producers Council, alerts California dairy producers that Cal/OSHA’s High Hazard Unit is conducting what’s been referred to as “lottery inspections” on dairies and feedlots.

He says, “We’ve also been informed that OSHA field representatives have been encouraged to make dairy visits a priority in the future. In the event you do receive a visit from Cal/OSHA, here are some simple steps and reminders:

  1. Be sure “No Trespassing” signs are posted on and around your farm. Signage should also direct visitors to check-in at the main office.
  2. Make certain you – the owner – are notified by employees when visitors come to the farm.
  3. Be courteous.
  4. Request to reschedule to a time that is more conducive for your schedule.


Abernathy says areas of interest during a Cal/OSHA inspection include: • Plastic fuel cans • Exposed PTO shafts (tractors, wells, pond pumps, etc.) • Electrical hazards (exposed wiring, unlabeled control panels, access to panels, etc.) • Permits for pressure valves (air compressors, propane tanks) • Eyewash stations near chemical storage • Secondary labeling (anything stored or transferred in a secondary container must be labeled) • Loss runs for past 5 years • OSHA 300a logs for the past 5 years • Copies of 3 most recent safety meeting sign-in sheets • List of your 3 recent new hires • Copy of “Part 1” of your Injury & Illness Prevention Program Binder (IIPP)

He explains that following an inspection from the High Hazard Unit, a return visit will be made to confirm any changes requested during the initial visit have been made.  Cal-OSHA also offers an on-site consultation program that is free and confidential to small and medium-sized businesses. This service is separate from enforcement and does not result in penalties or citations. More information is available here: https://goo.gl/OdCc8h.

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