Labor and Industries creates new farmworker safety team

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington state Department of Labor and Industries is creating a new team aimed at improving farmworker safety. The team will work on worksite inspections, safety and outreach to farm operators and employees. The agency formed the team in response to “an unprecedented” 433 agriculture inspections in 2020 that led to employer citations for more than 500 violations. Worker fatalities in agriculture also increased from 10 in 2019 to 14 in 2020. Funding for the new team was approved in the new state budget signed by Gov. Jay Inslee earlier this week.