Washington State Department of L&I – More than 20 farms in Washington have been cited for coronavirus violations since March including one in Elma.
The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has conducted 384 agricultural workplace safety and health inspections so far this year to help make sure farmworkers are safe on the job.
One hundred thirty of those inspections of agricultural employers have found violations for various health and safety concerns, including noncompliance with state rules related to COVID-19. Numerous inspections are still underway, so that number is expected to rise in the coming weeks.
“Our country relies on agriculture workers to grow and harvest food for our tables. We’re doing everything possible to make sure they are safe on the job,” said L&I Director Joel Sacks.
Anne Soiza, L&I assistant director for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), said, “L&I performs more agriculture worker safety and health inspections and consultations than nearly any other state in the country. This year, we stepped up efforts in this essential industry due to this new serious hazard.”
Of the more than 20 agriculture businesses cited for serious violations of COVID-19 safety and health requirements so far this year, 10 involved temporary worker housing while the others were related to multiple issues, including social distancing.
The largest fines issued this year for agriculture coronavirus-related violations were at the following farms:
A breakdown of L&I 2020 agriculture inspections and results is available on the L&I website: https://lni.wa.gov/agency/_docs/FY21106AgIndSHInspectionsInfographic.pdf