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Trainings: Rights & Safety

Trainings: Rights & Safety

AJP requires that farms provide workers with at least the following trainings:

  • Workers’ legal rights
  • Workers’ rights and privileges under Food Justice Certification
  • Health & safety training

The trainings must be on the clock (required by law), upon hire, and with regular updates. Standard 3.5.2.

Farms are also typically required by law to provide additional training, including:

  • Safety trainings mandated by OSHA (all workplace hazards) and by EPA Worker Protection Standard (pesticide, herbicide, and agro-chemical safety)
  • Food safety training to the GAPS standard

Worker rights trainings #

Under the AJP standards, farms are required to train workers in their legal rights including wages and working conditions, worker protection, pesticide safety, sanitation and food safety, ergonomic work practices, and all equipment they will use and work around. Farms may arrange with an area worker organization to provide some of this training.

We recommend you connect with a worker organization near your farm or business in order to arrange worker rights trainings (these organizations are important partners for your business, after all), but we also share here some Know Your Rights resources from workers centers in different places. Remember that state and local laws vary, which is just one more reason why connecting with a local workers center is important.

Sexual harassment #

Some local and state jurisdictions explicitly require universal workplace training about sexual harassment. Federal courts have established that employers who don’t provide such training may be held liable for harassment that happens in their workplace. Even beyond legal requirements, employers should train employees on recognizing and preventing sexual harassment. AJP standards require that employers create a respectful workplace free of harassment, and such training is an important part of that effort.

Health & safety training #

AJP requires that farms provide workers with thorough training in the safe use of all equipment and materials. Farms with over 10 employees must create a safety committee that includes workers in improving the safety of the farm. Smaller farms must still involve all employees in farm safety. Farms must develop a health and safety plan. Standard 3.5.2.

Regardless of AJP standards, the US Occupational Safety and Hazard Act requires employers to provide a safe workplace, which means that an employer must provide training that addresses the hazards of their workplace.

If your farm uses any EPA-listed materials (which includes many OMRI-listed items), you’re also specifically required to give every worker an annual training in the EPA Worker Protection Standard before their first potential exposure. Note that worker organizations may offer these trainings, as well.

Of course, you need to have trainings covering a wide array of safety topics. See the Health, Safety, & Wellness section for detailed resources on safety trainings.

Food safety training #

Under the Food Safety Modernization Act, federal law requires at least one supervisor per farm to be trained in food safety, who then oversees on-farm food safety training and compliance. Trainings are available through the Produce Safety Alliance or the national GAPS program.