Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1928.110

October 31, 1991

Mr. D. Michael Hancock
Executive Director
Farmworker Justice Fund, Inc.
Suite 210
2001 S Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009

Dear Mr. Hancock:

Thank you for your letter of August 29, in which you expressed concerns about the enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Field Sanitation Standard and the issuance of the proposed field sanitation compliance directive.

We believe that a better understanding by the public at large, by agricultural operators and by field laborers of the serious nature of the hazards addressed in the Standard will result in a greater level of compliance with the provisions of the Standard. The primary hazards addressed by the standard are heat stroke and heat exhaustion due to insufficient intake of potable water, urinary tract infections due to inadequate availability of toilets and consequential urine retention, agrichemical poisoning resulting from lack of handwashing facilities, and infectious and other communicable diseases from microbial and parasitic exposures.

A greater level of information sharing is necessary in the area of field sanitation, as well as all other aspects of agriculture. President Bush proclaimed September 15-21 of this year as National Farm Safety Week because agriculture is one of the most hazardous of U.S. industries, with an estimated 1,300 deaths and 120,000 disabling injuries in 1990. OSHA, working with organizations such as the National Safety Council (the sponsor of National Farm Safety Week), other federal agencies, the states, and farm organizations, is doing its utmost to call the attention of farmers, farm workers and their families to the hazards causing these deaths, injuries and illnesses and the means of abating those hazards.

This year, in support of National Farm Safety Week, OSHA has