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Cal/OSHA joins Federal OSHA in Reminding Agricultural Employers of Hazards in Grain Handling and Confined Spaces

OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The California Department of Industrial Relation's (DIR) Division of Occupational Safety and Health (commonly referred to as Cal/OSHA) joined Federal OSHA in reminding agricultural employers of the hazards of confined spaces including grain handling operations at farms.  The hazard alert comes as part of President Obama's proclamation of National Farm Safety and Health Week, which goes from September 15 through 21, 2013.

"Agriculture is one of the largest industries in California," said Christine Baker, Director of DIR.  "The state is a leader in workplace safety and health.  This is another area where we are leading the way in raising awareness of a critical safety hazard."  

Cal/OSHA initiated an ongoing Special Emphasis Program on Confined Spaces in January 2012, featuring educational outreach to employers and increased enforcement in general industry, construction and agriculture.

"Although California has not seen as many grain bin injuries as other states, it is still a huge concern. California, like the nation, supports all efforts to reduce injuries and fatalities at grain handling facilities," added Acting Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum.

For more resources on creating safe working conditions in confined spaces, or to learn more about California workplace health and safety standards please visit Cal/OSHA's website.  Cal/OSHA's Consultation Program provides free and voluntary assistance to employers and employee organizations to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from the Cal/OSHA Consultation Program.

Employers with work-related questions or complaints may call the toll-free California Worker's Information Line at (866) 924-9757 for recorded information, in English and Spanish, on a variety of work-related topics.  Complaints can also be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA District Offices.

For media inquiries, contact Erika Monterroza at (510) 286-1164 or Greg Siggins at (510) 286-1180

SOURCE California Department of Industrial Relations

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