OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.42 June 22, 1992 Office of General Industry
Subject: Guidelines for Implementing the Field Sanitation Standard
A. PURPOSE. This instruction provides guidelines for the inspection of
agricultural establishments covered by the Field Sanitation Standard, 29 CFR
B. SCOPE. This instruction applies OSHA-wide.
1. 29 CFR 1928.110, Field Sanitation Standard (52 FR 16050-16096,
May 1, 1987).
2. OSHA Instruction CPL 2.45B, June 15, 1989, the Revised Field
Operations Manual (FOM).
3. OSHA Instruction ADM 1-1.12B, December 29, 1989, the Integrated
Management Information System (IMIS) Forms Manual.
D. ACTION. Regional Administrators and Area Directors shall ensure that
the procedures established in this instruction are adhered to for field
E. FEDERAL PROGRAM CHANGE. This instruction describes a Federal program
change which affects State programs. Each Regional Administrator shall:
1. Ensure that this change is promptly forwarded to each State
designee, using a format consistent with the Plan Change Two-Way Memorandum
in Appendix P, OSHA Instruction STP 2.22A, CH-2.
2. Explain the technical content of this change to the State
designee as requested.
3. Ensure that State designees are asked to acknowledge receipt of
this Federal program change in writing to the Regional Administrator as soon
as the State's intention is known, but not later than 70 calendar days after
the date of issuance (10 days for mailing and 60 days for response). This
acknowledgment should include the State's intention to follow the guidelines
in section H. for training and education of compliance personnel and section
I. for scheduling procedures as described in this instruction, or a
description of the State's alternative guidelines which are "at least as
effective" as the Federal guidelines.
a. If a State intends to follow the guidelines for training
and education and scheduling procedures as described in this instruction, the
State must submit either a revised version of this instruction, adapted as
appropriate to reference State law, regulations and administrative structure,
or a cover sheet describing how references in this instruction correspond to
the State's structure. The State's acknowledgment letter may fulfill the
plan supplement requirement if the appropriate documentation is
b. Any alternative State guidelines for training and education
and scheduling procedures must be submitted as a State plan supplement within
6 months. If the State adopts an alternative to Federal inspection
guidelines, the State's submission must identify and provide a rationale for
all substantial differences from Federal guidelines in order for OSHA to
judge whether a different State guideline is as effective as a comparable
4. Inform the State designees that they shall include in their
acknowledgment letter to the Regional Administrator whether they are
conducting inspections of any farming operation that presently has, and has
had at all times during the preceding 12 months, 10 or fewer employees and
does not maintain an active temporary labor camp. If so, the State shall
provide a plan to the Regional Administrator to fund the prohibited
activities with other than 23(g) funds. (This restriction initially placed on
OSHA in FY 1977 has been continued by the current Appropriations
5. After Regional review of the State plan supplement and
resolution of any comments theron, forward the State submission to the
National Office in accordance with established procedures. The Regional
Administrator shall provide a judgment on the relative effectiveness of each
substantial difference in the State plan change and an overall assessment
thereon with a recommendation as to approval or disapproval by the Assistant
6. Review policies, instructions and guidelines issued by the
State to determine if this change has been communicated to State program
F. BACKGROUND. OSHA has promulgated several sanitation standards for the
protection of the safety and health of agricultural workers prior to the
Field Sanitation standard.
1. These standards are found in both OSHA General Industry
Standards, 29 CFR 1910, and in the Occupational Safety and Health Standards
for Agriculture, 29 CFR 1928.
2. The major weaknesses of these standards are their lack of rules
for sanitation facilities in the field for hired farm workers, many of whom
are migrant workers. Without adequate sanitation, such workers may contract
and pass on communicable diseases as they move from area to area and State to
State while providing hand labor to cultivate and harvest food and
3. The final Field Sanitation Standard was published in the
Federal Register on May 1, 1987. This final rule amended Title 29 CFR, Part
1928, by adding a new final occupational safety and health standard entitled
"Field Sanitation", Part 1928.110.
4. Since the effective date of the Field Sanitation Standard on
May 30, 1987, a number of questions and concerns on the part of both
agricultural employee and employer organizations have arisen related to the
enforcement of the standard.
a. Employee advocacy organizations have raised concerns about
OSHA's understanding of the scope provisions of the standard as well as
compliance policies affecting response time to complaints, targeting of
inspections during peak and non-peak periods of planting and harvesting of
crops and fibers, classification of violations and related proposed
penalties, and inspection followups.
b. Employer organizations have expressed concerns about OSHA's
interpretation of the scope of coverage of the standard and its application
to field situations where fewer than 11 employees are engaged in hand-labor
operations on the day of the inspection.
G. APPROPRIATIONS RESTRICTIONS AND SCOPE OF STANDARD.
1. Current appropriations law, as outlined in OSHA Instruction CPL
2.51G, exempts from OSHA regulation farming operations that employ 10 or
fewer employees and do not maintain a temporary labor camp. OSHA has
consistently interpreted this appropriations restriction as permitting OSHA
regulation of any farming operation that has employed 11 or more employees on
any given day during the 12 months preceding the inspection. The
appropriations law specifically permits OSHA to regulate any farming
operation that maintains a temporary labor camps, regardless of the number of
2. OSHA affirms, therefore, that the standard applies to any
agricultural establishment or employer that has employed, during the previous
12 months, at any one time, eleven (11) or more employees engaged in hand-
labor operations in the field. This coverage applies regardless of the
location(s) of the field(s) and regardless of the number of employees in any
particular field or the number of employees engaged in hand-labor operations
in the field on the day of inspection.
H. TRAINING AND EDUCATION OF OSHA PERSONNEL. Regional Administrators
shall ensure that all CSHOs are trained in the Field Sanitation Standard and
this instruction prior to conducting field sanitation inspections.
1. The entire preamble to the standard, in addition to the
standard itself, shall be used as the basis of the training and CSHOs shall
be familiar with its contents.
It contains a full discussion of the record upon which the final
standard was based, and OSHA's interpretations and intentions about the
meaning of the individual requirements of the standard. In order to ensure
an adequate understanding of the standard and encourage consistent
enforcement, particular attention shall be given during training to the
a. Scope of the standard;
b. Definitions, especially agricultural employer, agricultural
establishment, and hand-labor operations;
c. Requirements for drinking water, toilet and handwashing
2. Continued training shall be provided, on a regular basis, to
field sanitation enforcement personnel from the Employment Training
Administration (ETA), Employment Standards Administration (ESA), and those
agencies working under the 7(c)(1) agreements.
I. SCHEDULING PROCEDURES.
1. The procedures outlined in the FOM for programmed inspections
in general industry, construction, and maritime employment cannot be used in
scheduling inspections of applicable agricultural establishments employing
hand-labor operations in the field.
a. These operations tend to be seasonal and of short duration.
Some variables which may affect the scheduling and inspection of these
operations include types and location of crops, duration and
b. For these reasons, inspection scheduling procedures as
found in Chapter II, E.2.b.(5) of the FOM shall be followed to obtain
information on the location of sites potentially available for
c. All compliance personnel shall be instructed to look for
hand-labor operations in the field when in rural areas where such operations
are expected to be in progress.
d. Each observation of such operations shall be handled in the
(1) During the peak period of planting or harvesting of
crops or fibers, the CSHO making the observation shall initiate an inspection
of the operation if one or more employees engaged in hand-labor operations
are observed in the field.
(a) During the opening conference, if it is determined
that the scope of coverage is applicable to the operation, the CSHO shall
proceed with the inspection; otherwise the inspection shall
(b) The Area Director may define the circumstances
under which inspections based on CSHO observations of employees in the field
must be cleared by the supervisor.
(c) The inspection shall be initiated at the earliest
possible time, depending on the local inspection
(2) During non-peak periods of planting or harvesting, the
CSHO making the observation shall initiate an inspection of the operation
only if five (5) or more employees engaged in hand-labor operations are
observed in the field(s). The other restrictions as outlined in I.1.d.
(3) If contact with an employer is made, but no inspection
is conducted due to lack of coverage, an OSHA-1 shall be filled out and
marked "No Inspection."
NOTE: All of the above inspections shall be recorded as
programmed if the observing CSHO makes the inspection; otherwise, they shall
be recorded as referrals.
2. All complaints/referrals received concerning alleged violations
of the Field Sanitation Standard shall be processed by the Area Office as
quickly as priorities permit, because of the short duration of these
operations. Due consideration shall also be given to available
3. If a denial of entry occurs, a warrant may be sought.
a. The Area Director shall consider factors such as the
following before processing a warrant application:
(1) Warrant processing time;
(2) Anticipated duration of the hand-labor field
(3) Impact on compliance; and
(4) Violations already documented.
b. In those instances where denial of entry is the known
policy of a given employer, a preinspection warrant should be obtained by the
J. CLASSIFICATION OF VIOLATIONS.
1. Failures to comply with the standard's requirements to supply
water or sanitation facilities in the field, especially during peak planting
or harvesting periods, generally shall be classified as serious violations.
Violations will be classified as other-than-serious only when it is clear
that the failures to comply are minimal or that, under the conditions in the
particular field, the hazards to be controlled by compliance are
a. A failure to comply would be minimal, for example, when an
employer provided a single toilet (at an appropriate place in the field) for
21, instead of 20 employees.
b. Conditions in the field could minimize the relevant
hazards, when, for example, an employer failed, during cold weather, to
provide adequate potable water in a field where toxic agrichemicals had not
recently been applied.
2. The classification of safety and health violations involves the
exercise of maximum professional judgment. All relevant factors must be
carefully considered when making classification decisions.
K. ABATEMENT OF VIOLATIONS. Due to the short duration of hand- labor
field operations the abatement period shall be the shortest possible
interval, with particular emphasis given to immediate abatement.
L. FOLLOW-UP INSPECTIONS. Due to the short duration of field activities,
field sanitation followup inspections cannot be scheduled in the manner
provided in the FOM. Regional Administrators shall implement procedures that
will ensure that at least five percent (5%) of field sanitation inspections
resulting in serious citations receive followup inspections.
M. 7(c)(1) AGREEMENTS. In States where the 7(c)(1) program has
responsibility for conducting migrant farm-worker camp inspections, the
program participants shall be encouraged to perform inspections under the
Field Sanitation Standard where funding is available.
N. RECORDING IN IMIS. Current instructions for completing the Inspection
Report, OSHA-1, as found in the IMIS Manual shall be used with the following
1. The OSHA-1, Item 24 shall be marked as appropriate.
2. The OSHA-1, Item 25 "National Emphasis Program" will be marked
and "FIELDSAN" entered in the "specify field" for all field sanitation
NOTE: The field sanitation inspections are not National
Emphasis Program inspections, but the above entry is required due to the lack
of an additional field under Item 25 at this time.
Dorothy L. Strunk Acting Assistant Secretary
DISTRIBUTION: National, Regional and Area Offices All Compliance Officers
State Designees 7(c)(1) Project Managers NIOSH Regional Program Directors