EPA proposes changes to improve farm "Worker Protection Standard"

EPA proposes changes to improve farm "Worker Protection Standard"

TYLER (KYTX ) - When it comes to the food we eat, much goes in to making sure it's safe, but what about the safety of the farms that plant and harvest the food we bring to our tables?

CBS 19's Katiera Winfrey explains how the EPA is planning to make revisions --to improve farm worker safety.

For more than 20 years, safety practices for agriculture workers have been the same, but the EPA may change that.

"We want to make sure employees are safe and I think most  large business are very conscientious of that," said James Wilhite owns Wilhite Nursery. He said if the proposals go through, safety regulation for him and millions of other agriculture and farming workers will be more strict.

"It's not any thing harsh or over stretching or reaching," he said.

A few of the changes that could come would require annual training for farm workers instead of every five years.


Also the EPA will enforce time limits on how soon workers can reenter pesticide treated areas.
And the agency will require mandatory record keeping.

The EPA list of proposed revisions is long,  but farmers and even nursery owners don't expect the EPA to face much resistance as it works to push those proposed changes forward.

"How do we protect our agg workers and their families from  cross contamination or bringing it home to their families," said Ashley Pellerin referring the EPA. She works with the Prarie View Cooperative extension agency.

"They are potential changes a 90 day period for the  community to voice their concerns on the changes, if they're too strict or too loose."

Wilhite says, whenever and whatever changes are approved he'll be happy to see them.

There's no deadline yet on when the EPA plans to make actual changes-- first it plans to take comments and ideas from the public.


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