SAIF, the state’s workers’ compensation insurer, will offer its annual farm safety seminars at the end of the month.

The free sessions will kick off Monday, Oct. 28, in La Grande followed by a session at the Clarion Inn in Ontario Tuesday, Oct. 29.

The trainings run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and lunch is provided. This year’s seminars will focus on four topics: respiratory personal protective equipment, working at elevation, safety leadership, and incident analysis.

Attendees are encouraged to register by the day before the seminar. Registration forms are available online at saif.com/agseminars. Attendance is first-come, first-served with some locations maxing out.

As of press time, open slots remained in the Ontario seminar. 

“We purposely hold these in the off-season to encourage attendance,” Courtney Merriott, senior safety management consultant, said in a statement. “Our goal is to provide the latest safety content for the industry, so that every ag worker goes home safe and healthy each night.” 

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This will be the 17th year that SAIF offers seminars in select cities in Spanish.  

The company has not offered Spanish sessions in Malheur County in the past and doesn’t currently have plans to add one, but wouldn’t rule it out, according to spokesperson Lauren Casler.  

“It will depend on demand from the ag industry and attendance at the English seminar,” Casler said.

A webinar in Spanish will be available online in March.

Employers with small ag businesses who attend the seminar, or watch the webinars, will meet OSHA’s instructional requirement, one of four requirements that exempt small agricultural firms from random OSHA inspections. 

SAIF covered nearly 5,300 employees in Malheur County in 2018. The agency has received 193 claims so far this year from local businesses.

Have a news tip? Reporter Yadira Lopez: yadira@malheurenterprise.com or 541-473-3377.

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