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Dozens speak against proposed OSHA rules affecting farm workers

Dozens speak against proposed OSHA rules affecting farm workers

Posted: Dec. 5, 2017 11:12 PM
Updated: Dec. 5, 2017 11:29 PM

MEDFORD, Ore.-- Oregon's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is talking about proposed farm worker safety standards.

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The rules, which concern pesticide use, would impact over 10,000 farm workers here in Oregon.
Oregon’s OSHA says farms spray pesticides about 24 times a season.

Right now, there's little protection for workers during those sprays.
OSHA wants to get rid of the current federal standard of a 100-foot buffer zone and recommends workers and their families just stay inside their shelters when pesticides are being sprayed.

OSHA also proposes that when highly volatile pesticides are sprayed, workers and their families evacuate their homes to locations 150 feet away and wait 15 minutes before returning.

Opponents say that's not enough time and their living areas will still be affected by the sprays.

Manuel Mejia Gonzalez says, "We're asking for something that will be better for the health of the folks who literally feed the country, integral human conditions for folks working on already very hard jobs."

OSHA is accepting public comments until January 31st.

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