Summer will soon be here…… although the thermometer says it has been here for the past three weeks! The current market conditions and dry weather are adding “insult to injury” as we look forward to finishing off another season.

OSHA’s new injury and illness log called the OSHA 300 took affect on January 1, 2002 and replaces the OSHA 200 log for recording workplace injuries and illnesses. The OSHA 300 will be used for 2002 and future years – you must still maintain your old 200 forms as OSHA requires you to keep five years of injury records. The new form and information on how to complete and maintain the records can be found on OSHA’s web site (www.osha.gov) or you can call CHAPP for a copy!

Goat accidents are on the rise! CHAPP employers have suffered three fatalities this season from goat accidents – all three were run over by a goat in the grove while working. All goat drivers should be trained in the operation of the equipment with safe use a priority – and the NO RIDERS rule strictly enforced! ALL harvesting employees should be reminded often to watch out for the loader and each other to make sure everyone goes home the way they came – alive and without injury. This is especially important in groves that haven’t been hedged in recent years due to prices in a shrinking market! Horns and back-up alarms should be checked and maintained but most importantly USED! Please remember to enforce field safety – fatalities from equipment accidents bring not only pain from the loss of a co-worker for the survivors but also a visit from OSHA!

Van and Bus racks on the back of vehicles are rising in popularity as more things are being taken to the field (water cans, ice chests, etc.). It has been noticed by several staff members that these sometimes block the use of the rear door(s) causing a safety hazard in case of an accident. Besides a ticket from DOT, it could result in death of employees during an accident if their escape is blocked! Please review this with your vehicle drivers who are ultimately responsible for the safe operation of your worker transportation!

DOL Enforcement activities recently have focused on transportation, housing, hiring practices, and record keeping. The U.S. DOL has taken the stance that the Worker Information – Terms and Conditions of Employment – must be given in writing to all employees – not just migrant workers. They have also indicated that you must have a signed receipt from the worker stating they have received the info – or they will believe you failed to disclose it! We have a form available here at CHAPP to help with this “new requirement”. We have also seen several citations for housing. Some were where the crew leader had rentals – and not just for their workers but rent to anyone! The DOL has even gone as far as citing crew leaders for arranging housing – just for telling workers where they might find rentals! The record keeping fines from the DOL continue to be for missing info on the check stub or statement – most often the FEIN (Federal Employers Identification Number or tax number) but also your address, hours worked, piece rate(s) and number of boxes/units. We have the exact standards here at CHAPP if you have any questions (or see 29CFR Subpart C, Section 500.80).

We would like to thank all of you for allowing us the opportunity to serve you – please don’t hesitate to call with any question or concern you have! We would appreciate any ideas for topics, comments on our information, and any questions you may have! Please call us at (800)242-7898 or e-mail us at wes@chappinc.com . Remember: working safely pays dividends!