Did you know that New York is one of the top dairy-producing states in the country? So often, business talk regarding New York revolves around Wall Street, but there is the blue-collar crowd in the state that is getting attention because of safety legislation matters.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has taken note of the fact that dairy farms are dangerous and lead to many worker injuries every year. To address the workplace safety matter, OSHA plans to conduct surprise safety inspections of New York dairy farms beginning in July in hopes that employers will work to adhere to worker safety regulations.
As it so often happens, the matters of safety and business are in competition. Some New York dairy farmers and lawmakers are challenging the announced surprise inspections, suggesting that the effort would put farmers at risk of having to pay fines that could put them out of business.
In response, safety advocates argue that following OSHA regulations would mean no fines, as well as happier, healthier, more productive workers. Therefore, what is good for OSHA would be good for workers and the employers' bottom line, too, right?
The debate continues, with the safety of the state's many dairy farm workers depending on the legislative matter. There is no question that a successful dairy industry is important to the state, but that success cannot come at the cost of workers' safety and lives. We will post an update when there is a development in this worker safety matter.
Source: Syracuse.com, "Reps. Hanna, Maffei: Delay surprise inspections of New York dairy farms," Mark Weiner, Dec. 19, 2013