Idaho Dairy Industry Creates Training Program To Protect Workers After Grisly Deaths

Aug 18, 2017

Thirty-seven-year-old Ruperto Vazquez-Carrera drowned in a manure pond in February 2016. The horrific death at Sunrise Organic Dairy in Jerome – followed by another seven months later near Idaho Falls – prompted federal investigations.

According to the Idaho Statesman, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – or OSHA – fined both farms $5,000.

Now, industry leaders have created a worker training and safety program to make sure accidents like these don’t happen again. According to the Capital Press newspaper, Idaho Dairymen’s Association board members are the first to use the system. It was developed with help from worker safety experts from Texas and New Mexico.  

Given the high rate of non-English speaking immigrant workers doing the hard and dirty jobs on Idaho dairies, the training program puts an emphasis on consistent and repetitive safety skills.  

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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