BOX 5-2 Occupational Safety and Health Act Regulations

Farms and ranches are exempt from Occupational Safety and Health Act regulations if they employ 10 or fewer employees and do not have labor camps. About 95 percent of farms in the United States are therefore exempt.

Larger farms must abide by the regulations specific to agriculture:

  • roll-over protection for tractors;

  • safety guards on farm field equipment, farmstead equipment, and cotton gins; and

  • provision of drinking water, toilets, and handwashing facilities in the fields (field sanitation).

Large farms must also abide by a limited number of standards that apply to all industries. These standards apply to the following:

  • temporary labor camps;

  • storage and handling of anhydrous ammonia;

  • logging operations;

  • slow-moving vehicles;

  • cadmium; and

  • retention of Department of Transportation markings, placards, and labels.

See Chapter 6 for further details.

The original Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed in 1970, but it took 17 years for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to pass requirements pertaining to standards for sanitary facilities in agricultural fields. That is, only 1987 were regulations established to require a supply of drinking water, portable toilets, and water to wash hands in the fields of the larger farms.


Interventions protecting children from agricultural hazards generate philosophical debate over issues germane to parenting, public

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement