STATE BOARD OF HEALTH
[Filed May 6, 1998, 2:45 p.m., effective May 15 through August 20, 1998]
Date of Adoption: April 8, 1998.
Purpose: Allow specific requirements for cherry harvest only for provision of temporary worker housing in eastern Washington during the 1998 cherry harvest.
Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: New sections WAC 246-358-600, 246-358-610, 246-358-620, 246-358-630, 246-358-640, and 246-358-650.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 70.54.110.
Other Authority: RCW 34.05.350.
Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.
Reasons for this Finding: Migrant workers will soon be arriving in Washington state to harvest the cherry crop. Historically, migrant workers have lived in cherry camps established by growers for whom they pick. For various reasons, including the courts recent ruling in regard to the Department of Health's provisional licensing program, growers who have been provisionally licensed in the past, or who might otherwise have sought licensure of their camps have threatened not to seek licensure. This situation presents the potential of having far more migrant workers in cherry growing communities than there are places in licensed camps.
There is currently little alternative housing available for migrant workers in cherry growing communities outside of the cherry camps. Without camps available, workers often live "on the river bank," that is, in isolated rural areas without safe sources of drinking water or any sanitation facilities. The health risks both to workers and to the larger community associated with such conditions include the spread of infectious disease. Workers camping in isolated areas may also be the targets of violence, vandalism and theft.
A number of cherry growers have camps which could be equipped for licensure with respect to basic safety and health standards. State and local authorities believe some of the growers would seek licensure if emergency rules could be implemented in time for the 1998 cherry harvest season. Licensed camps would provide additional housing for migrant workers.
The above-described conditions constitute good cause to find threat to the public health, safety, or welfare. The amendment is narrowly tailored to alleviate these conditions on a temporary basis. Because the cherry harvest is imminent, observing requirements for notice and the opportunity for public comment would be contrary to the public interest.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 6, amended 0, repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, amended 0, repealed 0.
Effective Date of Rule: May 15 through August 20, 1998.
May 6, 1998
Sylvia I. Beck
WAC 246-358-600 Temporary worker housing for the 1998 cherry harvest. (1) WAC 246-358-600 through 246-358-650 applies only to operators of temporary worker housing of cherry harvest camps during the 1998 cherry harvest season.
(2) WAC 246-358-001 through 246-358-175, and WAC 246-358-990 apply to cherry harvest camps, unless a specific exemption is provided in WAC 246-358-600 through 246-358-650.
WAC 246-358-610 Location of housing area and housing management plan. Licensed operators are exempted from the requirements of WAC 246-358-045, 246-358-075 and 246-358-135 when meeting the requirements of this section. A licensed operator:
(1) Must locate the housing area:
(a) To prevent a health or safety hazard;
(b) On well-drained sites to prevent standing water from becoming a nuisance;
(c) Five hundred feet or more from a livestock operation unless the department or contracted health officer determines that no health risk exists;
(d) More than two hundred feet from swamps, pools, sink holes, or other surface collections of water unless provisions are taken to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes; and
(e) On sites sufficient in size to prevent overcrowding of necessary structures.
(2) Must ensure that the housing site is maintained at all times in a sanitary condition free from garbage and other refuse.
(3) Must develop and implement a temporary worker housing management plan and camp rules to assure that the camp is operated in a safe and secure manner and is kept within the approved capacity. Additionally, the licensed operator must:
(a) Inform camp residents of the camp rules, in a language the resident understands by providing individual copies of the rules to each camp resident or posting the rules in the camp area;
(b) Restrict the number of occupants in the camp to the camp capacity as determined by the department. The camp capacity will be determined by the number of tents and the number of persons per tent, area of the site and the ratio of occupants to the number of sinks, showers, and toilets;
(c) Only allow persons to stay in the camp if they have a store-purchased tent with a sewn-in floor;
(d) Provide a vapor barrier for all tents that are not on an asphalt, concrete, or wooden platform; and
(e) Limit the number of occupants who can sleep in the tent to the number for which it was designed. An employee may use his or her own trailer, recreational vehicle, camper, or van if designed for sleeping. Such vehicles are subject to the same occupancy limits as a tent.
(4) May provide a tent for employee use when the tent meets the tent requirements listed in subsection (3) of this section, and has screened flaps over windows and doors and a means of fastening the flaps shut.
WAC 246-358-620 Adequate lighting. Licensed operators are exempted from the lighting requirements of WAC 246-358-075, 246-358-090, 246-358-095, 246-358-100 and 246-358-125 when meeting the requirements of this section. A licensed operator must provide adequate lighting:
(1) To allow for safe passage of the camp residents from the tent area to the toilets and sinks twenty-four hours per day;
(2) In cooking and food handling areas as needed for safe food preparation; and
(3) In shower rooms during hours of operation.
WAC 246-358-630 Bathing, toilet and handwashing areas. Licensed providers are exempt from the requirements of WAC 246-358-095 and 246-358-100 when meeting the requirements of this section. To meet the bathing, toileting and handwashing needs of camp residents, a licensed operator must:
(1) Provide hot and cold running water under pressure adequate to meet the needs of occupants as determined by the department;
(2) Provide facilities which are kept in a clean and sanitary condition, cleaned at least daily;
(3) Provide sloped, coved floors of nonslip impervious materials;
(4) Provide floor drains;
(5) Provide smooth, water impervious walls and partitions to the height of splash;
(6) Provide cleanable, nonabsorbent waste containers in shower rooms and in or near toileting areas;
(7) Provide sinks and bathing facilities connected through properly trapped floor drains to an approved disposal system that comply with local ordinances;
(8) Provide water flush toilets unless privies or other methods are specifically approved by the department or local health officer according to requirements in chapter 246-272 WAC;
(9) Have a service contract for sewage pumping with a licensed waste disposal company at least weekly if vault privies or chemical toilets are approved for use. Vault privies or chemical toilets must be located at least fifty feet from any dwelling unit, space, or food handling facility;
(10) Provide an adequate supply of toilet paper in each toilet room, privy, and chemical toilet compartment;
(11) Provide clearly marked toilet rooms or chemical toilets for "men" and for "women" by signs printed in English and in the native language of the persons occupying the camp, or marked with easily-understood pictures or symbols;
(12) Ensure that toilet facilities are cleaned at least daily;
(13) Request occupants to maintain toilet facilities in a clean and sanitary condition;
(14) Provide adequate numbers of toilets, handwashing and showerheads. The department will determine the number of handwashing sinks and shower heads according to the following ratios:
handwashing sinks--One per each six to ten persons or fraction thereof.
shower heads--One per each ten to fifteen persons or fraction thereof.
toilets--One per fifteen persons of each sex with a minimum of two toilets for any facility shared by men and women; and
(15) Receive approval from the department and the local health jurisdiction to determine use of off-camp showers. Off-camp showers must be within a reasonable distance of the camp, not to exceed five miles.
WAC 246-358-640 Cold food storage areas. Licensed operators are exempt from cold storage requirements of WAC 246-358-125 when meeting the requirements of this section.
(1) Licensed operators must provide:
(a) At least one refrigerator for storage of medicine and infant formula;
(b) Ice if there is not adequate mechanical refrigeration or an adequate method of making sufficient ice on-site; and
(c) Ice chests with sufficient storage space to adequately store perishable foods on an as needed basis for camp residents. The ice chest must be capable of maintaining a temperature of forty-five degrees Fahrenheit. A minimum of one ice chest, with a volume of sixty-four quarts, for every four adults or one family group must be made available.
(2) At their own option, occupants may provide their own ice chest meeting requirements in subsection (1)(c) of this section in lieu of having an ice chest provided by the licensed operator.
WAC 246-358-650 Food storage and preparation areas. Licensed operators are exempt from food storage and preparation requirements of WAC 246-358-125 when meeting the requirements of this section.
(1) The licensed operator must provide:
(a) Food preparation and cooking areas must be provided cover to protect the food from the elements, including dust;
(b) Food storage areas adequate to protect food from attracting rodents and insects;
(c) Easily cleanable food preparation areas;
(d) Handwashing facilities near food preparation areas;
(e) Adequate tables and chairs or benches for the camp residents; and
(f) An operable hot plate or campstove with a minimum of one cooking surface for every four adult occupants or one family group. The department may determine that a metal or stone barbecue, with fuel provided, may be substituted for the hot plate or campstove.
(2) At their own option, occupants may provide their own operable hot plate or campstove in lieu of having a hot plate or campstove provided by the licensed operator.