Agricultural Engineering Expert Witnesses & Equipment Injuries – Part 2

In Agricultural and Grounds Maintenance Equipment, agricultural engineering expert witness Richard L. Parish, PhD, PE, writes:

It is easier to find current standards than obsolete versions. An agricultural engineering expert may have to do some digging to find the correct version of a standard. Furthermore, obtaining copies of obsolete standards is sometimes difficult since some professional engineering societies do not provide/sell obsolete versions of standards. These older versions, as well as current versions, are usually available from IHS Global ( An attorney or expert will often have a choice of buying a hard copy of a standard or opting for electronic delivery. It is necessary to pay for most standards (from any source), and the cost per page can be fairly steep.
Government Standards
The primary government standards of interest in this field are from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The most relevant OSHA standard in many cases is 29 CFR Part 1928, Occupational and Health Standards for Agriculture. This standard covers some things such as overturn protection and cotton ginning in some detail, but provides only general guidance in other areas. In cases involving forestry equipment, 29 CFR Part 1910, Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry, is appropriate since it specifically covers forestry topics. If the case involves small construction equipment used in grounds maintenance or landscape construction, 29 CFR Part 1926, Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the Construction Industry, may be appropriate.

In some situations where none of the specific OSHA regulations apply, 29 USC 654 Section 5, the OSHA General Duty section, will be appropriate. Although OSHA is prohibited from inspecting small farming operations, these operations are not exempt from OSHA regulations and the standards are relevant. The relevant CPSC standard is 16 CFR Part 1205, Safety Standard for Walk-Behind Power Lawn Mowers.