Garden City Telegram from Garden City, Kansas on July 17, 1976 · Page 12
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Garden City Telegram from Garden City, Kansas · Page 12

Garden City, Kansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, July 17, 1976
Page 12
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OSHA: Two Major Blunders at the Wrong Time By ANN COOPER Telegram's Washington Bureau WASHINGTON - When Congress recently voted to lock out Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors from some small businesses, it was OSHA itself that provided the lock. It's not that the five-year-old federal agency doesn't think it should be looking after the health and safety of small business employes. But OSHA, long the butt of anti- regulatory sentiment, made two major blunders at the wrong time: — It began distribution of a booklet of farm safety tips aimed at farm workers with little reading ability. Phrases from the book, such as "When floors are wet and slippery with manure, you could have a bad fall," got legislators laughing as well as thinking about taking away some of OSHA's authority. — In an attempt to set new standards to insure farm worker health, OSHA published a proposal that would require toilet and handwashing facilities in fields within a five-minute walk of each worker. A little "potty" humor went a long way when it came time to count votes. The agency made those blunders in an election year when a major campaign theme has been: Down With Bureaucracy! And it made them prior to congressional consideration of the Fiscal Year 1977 Labor and Health, Education and Welfare appropriations bill, which sets OSHA's budget, and which has been the vehicle for past attempts to get OSHA out of the small business inspection business. "We've been pilloried a great deal. The timing is everything. We were unlucky," said a rueful OSHA employe after House and Senate debates focusing on the OSHA blunders. Before this year, the only .exemption from OSHA Congress ever managed to get on the books was an end to record-keeping requirements for businesses with 10 or less employes. Plenty of enforcement exemptions have been proposed, and several have drawn heavy support. But no exemption from OSHA enforcement of its regulations ever made it into law. That's likely to change this year. The House last month approved two amendments to the appropriations bill that would have the effect of exempting farms and businesses with 10 or less employes from OSHA regulation. The Senate approved language that would exempt farms with an average of five or fewer employes, as long as they don't employ more than 12 on a given day. For other businesses with 10 or less employes, the Senate would only provide an exemption from civil penalties the first time the business has a non- serious violation — leaving OSHA free to inspect and to penalize for a first violation that threatens health or safety. Although House and Senate conferees still have to meet to see what language stays in the final bill to be sent to the White House, even OSHA officials are saying it's a sure bet some enforcement exemptions will become law for FY 1977. Given a choice between the two, OSHA would prefer the more moderate Senate exemptions. Congressional staff members whp watched the amendments whip through Congress by comfortable margins say it was the booklet and the toilet proposal — both parts of OSHA's debut into farm regulation — that led to the broader exemption for farms. "The reason for the farm exemption is no deeper than it looks. OSHA put out its book at the wrong time, and then the Skubitz amendment (Rep. Joe Skubitz, R-Kan., made the farm exemption proposal in the House) gave everybody a chance to cast an anti-OSHA vote. They could have gotten amendments exempting more businesses if they'd really been organized," said a House Labor subcommittee aide. The Skubitz amendment passed easily, 273-124, after debate which featured much discussion of the infamous booklet and the toilet proposal. Skubitz also argued that OSHA farm regulations would be very costly to farmers. OSHA says its booklet, Safety with Beef Cattle, has been misunderstood. It is one of more than 60 pamphlets written by Purdue University as part of the agency's new safety education program. Eighteen of the booklets were to be .written "in a style designed for audiences with lower than average reading ability," according to an OSHA memo. OSHA is not alone among government agencies in putting out such booklets — just alone in the criticism, say agency officials. When the Senate discussed the farm exemption amendment, Sen. Carl Curtis, R- Neb., said he'd been told by OSHA the booklet was written for illiterate farmhands. "There is just not anybody that illiterate," the senator charged; before the 90-1 vote approving the Senate exemptions. . Maynard Dolloff, OSHA special assistant for agricultural affairs, like other OSHA officials, admits the book was a mistake. But, he says defensively, "I think when an agency is down, so to speak, it's pretty easy to criticize them." Doloff, whose position was just created this year to help with the new OSHA emphasis on farms, believes the House and Senate proposals may exempt many farms that need health and safety inspections. He quotes statistics from an Iowa state labor official: Of farm deaths in that state during 1972-73, 83 per cent occurred • on farms - now covered by OSHA which have less than five employes. "I don't think we can assume that this will be true across the nation. But if Congress is thinking in terms of eliminating farms with five or less employes, on some farms where workers have been killed-will no longer be covered," Dolloff said. OSHA, however, is so new to the farm health and safety field that Dolloff couldn't give any nationwide figures on deaths at small farms — or even on the number of farms currently covered by OSHA. Because it has few farm health or safety standards, the agency does few farm inspections now. Most inspections result from a death or a complaint from a farm worker. But inspections will step up as new farm standards become effective. In October, OSHA will begin requiring farm equipment manufacturers to install rollover protection equipment on machinery. The agency will also require replacement of worn-out or damaged equipment guards. But the regulation proposal that's created the most uproar in farming communities is OSHA's proposal last April on field sanitation. That would require drinkable water and separate drinking cups for each farm worker, as well as hand-washing and toilet facilities for each 40 workers in the field. The facilities would have to be within a five- Bald Eagle Soon An Endangered Species? WASHINGTON (AP) - The bald eagle, which overcame the opposition of Benjamin Franklin to become the national symbol of the wild, new United States of America, may soon be listed as an endangered species in the 48 contiguous states. Interior Department officials are proposing that the ' Pd. Adv. i Week on South Main by Jim Sloan Your LENNOX® Dealer Enjoy the summer, kids. It won't be too long before it will be back-to-school time. You can really enjoy the summer with a LENNOX® weather machine In your home or office. If astrology is a lot of bunk, how come you check your forecast every day? It is not a lot of bunk about LENNOX® weather machines. This time of year you can really enjoy that cool, clean air. We have often wondered how commercial airlines schedule their flights so that TV commercials don't jiggle. Planning on remodeling or building? See Garden City Sheet Metal for the latest in LENNOX® Those who have one for the road, probably don't know it could be followed by a short bier. PS—Personal service, that's what we have at Garden City Sheet Metal. Give us a try. Either call 276-2102 or come visit us on South Main. Garden City SHEET METAL Air conditioning Plumbing and Heating 276-2102 minute walk of the worker's place in the field. OSHA defensively points out that it's just's a proposal, that the public has until August 16th to comment on it, and that the idea could be reworked or even scrapped. And there's plenty of evidence that it will never become final in its present form. For one thing, the Senate Agriculture Committee has passed a resolution asking OSHA to hold up the "unwise and unworkable" proposal until it holds hearings on it. For another, the House Agriculture Committee already has hearings scheduled July 27. And the more than 300 comments already filed on the proposal are overwhelmingly against it. Even the chairman of. OSHA's Standards Advisory Committee on Agriculture — representatives from outside the agency — wrote an angry comment opposing it. Though OSHA used some of the ad- visory committee's ideas in writing the proposal, changes were made that would mean, "Ranch hands across the nation will need to carry toilet and ha'ndwashing facilities on horseback," wrote Gary Erisman, a Florida Cooperative Extension Service official. Erisman suggested a more general regulation, such as, "Toilet facilities shall be readily available to each employe's place of work in the field." The field sanitation stan- Page 12 . Garden City Telegram Saturday, July 17,1976 dard draws heavily from a standard used in California, where many field workers are needed to do farm work by hand. "I know we have a little different situation in migrant camps in California than we'd have in the wheat fields in Kansas, says Dolloff, •acknowledging that many midwestern farms cover hundreds of acres and are worked by a few people with machinery that they could easily drive to sanitation facilities. discover the difference "ITS THE BIGGEST SALE OF ITS KIND THIS YEAR!" "HERBS JUST A SAMPLE OF HUNDREDS OF ITEMS ON SALE' bald eagle be listed as endangered in 43 states and as "threatened" in the other five. The eagles have been shot, poisoned and chased from their traditional nesting grounds by the bulldozing progress of modern America, Interior Department officials said Wednesday. "In some'areas of the country the noble bird can't even hatch its own eggs. Pesticide residues have so contaminated its body that egg shells become thin and break when it tries to hatch them," said Keith M. Schreiner, associate director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Animals listed as endangered are protected by law from being killed, placed into commerce or possessed, except with government approval. A southern subspecies of bald eagle has been on the endangered list since 1967. Interior officials said that in states where eagles are classified as a 'threatened species, controls can be either as stringent or more relaxed than in endangered-species states, depending on local conditions. The bald eagle once ruled supreme in the United States and was chosen as the centerpiece of the seal of the fledgling new country in 1782. It was generally felt that the bird was a natural choice because its habitat was virtually the entire United States, although Franklin himself preferred the turkey. Live and Learn- Learn to Live The body should be treated as a unit. Use your Subconscious Mind. Increase Your Potential. One hundred and twenty minute cassette by Dr. V.A. Leopold. Many Interesting Experiences in fifty years of practice. A lesson in each. Professional-Educational. Also suitable for Study Club Program. $10.00 postpaid. Money back guarantee. Allow three weeks. Leopold Tape Company, Boi 914 Garden City, Kansas 67846 GIVE YOUR HOME THAT NATURAL LOOK! LUCITE EXTERIOR STAIN Latex formula...won't rub off like oil or alkyd stain. No messy mixing... just stir and apply. 1 hour dry and water cleanup. Rich, flat finish resists blistering, cracking and peeling. Apply over bare or weathered wood, rough or smooth surfaces. Ideal for siding, patio furniture, fences, rafters and beams. EIGHT GREAT COLORS RESIST FADING SAVE I 22 ON PHOTO ALBUM 366 ALCO Reg. 4.88 "Stick-it-to-me" notebook type pages. Solid color front. MOOD-GLO LIGHT BULBS 7-JAR CANNER 2 29 5 ALCO Reg. 2.79 By Sylvania. Amber, green, red, blue, purple, & smoke. . ALCO Reg. 7.44 Easy clean porcelain ware. 7- jar rack is included. 15-OZ. OIL TREATMENT 97° ALCO Reg. 1.27 Helps engine perform quietly and at full power. SAVE 30* FRISBEE 67° ALCO Reg. 97* YOU CAN SAVE 2.00 LITTLE TIKES WAGON 44 6 ALCO Reg. 8.44 4-wheeled fun (or youngsters 1 to 4. Molded from durable double- wall polyethylene. No sharp edges. GLOBE NO. 30 ROLLER SKATES 4 44 ALCO Reg. 6.66 SAVE 4.00 ON TOT -A-BOUT TRIKE 799 ALCO Reg. 11.99 For children 18 months to 5 years. E-Z pedal. Seat lifts for toy storage. Empire Toys No. 1156.' SAVE 4.44 SURE FLYER 6 44 ALCO Reg. 10.88 Effective Sunday fr Monday ONLY! Daily 9:00 to 9:00 Sunday 12: to 6:00 1401 E. Kansas Ave. Phone 275-4138

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