Occasionally, on a slow day, we like to dig through our library of statutes and regulations to see what cutting edge and innovative ideas are out there in the various jurisdictions. Sometimes we come across something we just did not anticipate. Something that you would think must be from an earlier, less informed era. But no, it is here, in 2011, for the entire world to see. Frankly, I cannot believe that this has not yet achieved a national outcry to right a serious wrong. There is no easy way to say it, really, so here it is. Plain and simple. Unvarnished and raw.

The state of Arizona, for “weeding or thinning crops”, prohibits the use of “short handle hoes”.

Shocking, I know. In this day and age I would expect a more tolerant view.  I had no idea there were restrictions for hoes of any kind, let alone the important function of “weeding or thinning crops”.

Specifically, the regulation (R20-5-605) states “The use of a hoe with a handle less than four feet in length for weeding or thinning crops is prohibited. This prohibition is based upon the existence of other practical and adequate alternatives to the use of these short-handle hoes.”

Other practical and adequate alternatives to the use of these short-handle hoes? What pray tell, would those be? And why would a hoe with a handle of less than four feet present a clear and present danger? One might surmise that a short handle hoe would require laborers to bend and stoop more than is ergonomically advisable. Indeed, it would be a convincing argument, EXCEPT for the existence of section B of Rule R20-5-605, which states; “This rule does not apply to greenhouse or nursery operations.”

Aha! So hoes with short handles are apparently harmless at greenhouse or nursery operations, but represent death personified out on the ranch! How can this be? It seems to me that this represents a tremendous discrepancy. After all, what's good for the goose, should be good for the hoe.

This rule was first enacted February 28, 1975. Clearly times have changed, and something can be done to correct such an egregious and blatant discrimination against what can now be viewed as “Extendedly Challenged” hoes. I suggest that an approach be created that will allow a hoe open access to all jobs involving the weeding and thinning of crops.

Short of modifying the regulations, I am proposing a “Modified Flexible Objective Hoe”, or Mo Fo Hoe, that would provide adjustable length handles acceptable in any weeding or crop thinning endeavor. This would effectively solve this (previously unrecognized) dilemma, and ostensibly keep all the relevant parties happy. If Arizona, would just adopt the use of Mo Fo Hoes, this problem is solved. Finito.

And to those of you, who regret spending the 5 minutes it took to read this, imagine how I feel. I'll never get back the hour it took to write it…..


Editor's Note: If you know of other unique or obscure regulations that Bob can butcher and completely misrepresent, email us at info at workerscompensation.com, subject “Regulation Submission”.

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