Michigan legislature gives family farms more time to report deaths

The Michigan Senate has passed legislation with strong bipartisan support to reduce fines on family farms if they do not immediately report accidental workplace deaths.

State Representative Bronna Kahle sponsored the bill and says grieving families shouldn’t be put in a position to think about calling a government agency to report the death of their loved one immediately after. 

The legislation was prompted after she learned of a $12,000 fine given to the Eisenmann family in Blissfield Township after owner Keith died from a fall on the farm in November of 2019.

Keith’s wife Barbra testified during a House Ag Committee hearing on the matter.

“It is our desire today to see this reporting law and fine changed as it has been another aspect of trauma and financial hardship for our farm and our family,” she shares.

The bill increases the reporting time from eight hours to seven days and lowers civil penalties from $7,000 to $500.

The Michigan House approved the bill in May, and it now heads to the governor’s desk.

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