Memo - Policy Clarification on OSHA's Enforcement Authority at Small Farms


Policy Clarification on OSHA's Enforcement Authority at Small Farms

PDF • 124.16 KB - May 05, 2021

The purpose of this memorandum is to clarify OSHA's longstanding position on the limits of its authority to conduct enforcement activities on small farms. Since 1976, an appropriations rider has precluded OSHA from expending appropriated funds to conduct enforcement activities with respect to any person engaged in a farming operation with ten or fewer non-family employees that has not maintained a temporary labor camp within the preceding twelve months. 

OSHA defines a "farming operation" as "any operation involved in the growing or harvesting of crops or the raising of livestock or poultry, or related activities conducted by a farmer on sites such as farms, ranches, orchards, dairy farms or similar farming operations."  However, if an employer performs activities on a small farm that are not related to farming operations and are not necessary to gain economic value from products produced on the farm, those activities are not exempt from OSHA enforcement. 

Additional resource information can be found on the Agricultural Safety and Health webpage. 

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