L&I News

See more More news releases

January 7, 2000

L&I launches program to prevent worker injuries in orchards

YAKIMA - The Department of Labor & Industries has launched a cooperative program with central Washington orchardists to reduce the number of workers who suffer eye injuries and injuries related to ladder falls while working in the deciduous tree fruit industry.

An agency study revealed that during the five-year period ending in December 1998, more than 700 farmworkers in Kittitas, Grant and Adams counties suffered eye injuries or injuries related to ladder falls. Those injuries resulted in almost $1.5 million in workers' compensation claim costs.

The agency has targeted about 35 central Washington growers as potential participants in the program that will offer participants low-priority status for WISHA (Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act) compliance enforcement inspections. (Growers would still be subject to inspections triggered by a fatality/catastrophic incident, complaint, referral or imminent danger hazard.) L&I will provide workshops, consultation and instruction emphasizing eye-injury prevention, ladder safety and accident prevention programs. In addition, the participating growers will be offered services related to claims management, return to work and loss control management.

A preliminary meeting has been scheduled for Jan. 12 in Mattawa to explain the program and recruit participants.

Additional information about the program may be obtained by telephoning Dale Sunday at 509-454-3785.

End of main content, page footer follows.

Access Washington official state portal

© Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries. Use of this site is subject to the laws of the state of Washington.