Sen. Mike Johanns remains suspicious of OSHA, even though the agency has said it will address complaints that it is encroaching on small, family farms.
Johanns has been harshly critical of the Occupational, Safety and Health Administration, charging OSHA has violated federal law by attempting to regulate small farms.
Johanns remains wary, even after OSHA officials promised to consult with their colleagues at the United States Department of Agriculture on proper farm regulations.
“I hope that’s serious. I hope it’s not just a perfunctory meeting to check the box and say, well we consulted and now we’re still going to regulate small farms,” Johanns tells Nebraska Radio Network. “So, we’ll see. I think the next couple of months will tell us what their intentions are.”
Federal law prohibits OSHA from regulating farms with fewer than 10 employees.
Johanns says there shouldn’t be any confusion about the intent of Congress. It passed the law 35 years ago.
The issue came to a head in Nebraska when OSHA fined a family farm with only one employee $132,000 for not having proper dust abatement policies.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]