ResponsibleAg is celebrating a major milestone. More than 2,500-member facilities have now been through the ResponsibleAg audit process.
“We commend the managers and employees at these crop inputs locations for having their facilities audited by ResponsibleAg to ensure they are in compliance with environmental, health, safety and security regulations from OSHA, DOT, EPA and DHS,” says Tim McArdle, Chairman of the board, ResponsibleAg. “This effort shows their commitment to the safety of their employees, customers and local communities.”
Of these facilities, nearly 1,300 have earned their ResponsibleAg certification. Following a facility audit by a ResponsibleAg-credentialed auditor, facility personnel carry out necessary corrective steps to ensure the facility meets compliance with federal regulations. At the end of this process, the facility receives certification through ResponsibleAg which is good for three years. For more details about how your facility can become ResponsibleAg certified, visit ResponsibleAg.org or call 270-683-6777.
ResponsibleAg hosted members of the organization’s Communications Committee for a mid-December meeting in Owensboro, KY. The group toured the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture to review details of the ResponsibleAg Certification Program. The tour showcased the facility audit process and demonstrated many aspects of the auditor training program.
Communication Committee members include:
Ag retailers are subject to literally hundreds of regulations from OSHA, DOT, EPA and DHS. These regulations cover everything from storing, transporting and applying fertilizer and crop protection inputs to maintaining the shop, office and grounds.
One tool to help facilities ensure they are compliant is the ResponsibleAg Assessment Checklist. This checklist has more than 400 questions covering the safety, health, security and environmental regulations for 17 common aspects of retail facilities.
The assessment checklist has been updated for 2019 and now includes 26 voluntary Best Management Practice (BMPs) questions. The BMPs are optional methods, activities, prohibitions of practices, maintenance procedures and managerial practices, that when used singly or in combination, may help prevent or reduce potential safety hazards. ResponsibleAg Participants will find the 26 BMPs within the assessment and as a separate link within the Guidance Materials. The BMPs range from annual visual inspections of anhydrous storage and transport tanks to the details of NFPA 704 Marking System for Hazardous Materials.
The primary goal of ResponsibleAg is helping facilities improve safety and security for employees, customers and communities. Knowledge of regulations and required safety practices is key to reaching that goal. Through membership in ResponsibleAg, managers at registered facilities have access to a robust collection of valuable tools to help location personnel learn what is required and help improve their level of compliance with federal regulations.
Among the resources, you’ll find:
The 2019 Auditor Training Course will be held June 18–21, 2019, at the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture in Owensboro, KY, a former agrichemical facility retrofitted specifically for training purposes. Seats for this comprehensive ‘hands-on’ course are limited to 24 for the four-day training. Sign up today while seats are still available!
To learn more about becoming an auditor, visit the “Become an Auditor” section on the home page of ResponsibleAg.org or call 270-683-6777. To register, click here.
Facilities certified through ResponsibleAg must repeat the audit process every three years to maintain ResponsibleAg certification. ResponsibleAg began conducting audits in the spring of 2015, so facilities certified at that time are due to be audited. To ensure all participants remember to recertify, ResponsibleAg will send notifications to facility managers when they’re due for another audit.
Why recertify? Regulations set by OSHA, DOT, EPA and DHS are ever changing. ResponsibleAg’s Technical Committee continuously monitors regulatory agencies and legislative activity, updating the assessment checklist used during an audit.
The three-year audit cycle is in place to help personnel stay up-to-date on safe practices as well as new or updated rules and regulations. Regularly repeating the audit ensures facilities maintain a high level of emphasis on safety and that they remain compliant.
Each month, a new Faces of ResponsibleAg appears in CropLife magazine, highlighting why companies value being ResponsibleAg members. At Yara, training all personnel is the mission of Safe by Choice, the company’s global safety program. The lean Health, Environmental, Safety team and terminal managers at Yara often turn to the ResponsibleAg Compliance Assistance Library as a valuable source of information used for training. Read more about Yara in Faces of ResponsibleAg..Back to Top
ResponsibleAg’s Technical Committee is monitoring the activities of regulatory agencies to ensure our members are updated on changes that may occur. DOT, EPA and OSHA have all published regulatory agendas with target dates through the end of the fiscal year.
Below are the lists of topics that could impact the ag retail industry:
EPA announced a new “Waters of the United States” definition under the Clean Water Act to clarify what waters are and are not regulated by the federal government. The new proposed definition separates regulated waters into six categories:
Preliminary data for OSHA’s Top 10 most-cited violations for fiscal year 2018 was announced at the National Safety Council Congress and Expo in Houston, Texas. The list is always a good place to start to identify hazards in the workplace. It was largely unchanged from 2017. The only new item is Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment - Eye and Face Protection coming in at Number 10.
Another auditor joins the ranks, becoming credentialed through the ResponsibleAg Auditor Credentialing Program. We welcome Gregory Groves of Pirkle Solutions, Inc., Windsor, CO.Back to Top
Welcome to these facilities that have recently received certification from ResponsibleAg and are now Committed, Compliant, Safe, and Certified. Congratulations to all!
ResponsibleAg is an industry-led initiative committed to helping agribusinesses properly store and handle farm input supplies. The program helps members ensure they are compliant with environmental, health, safety and security regulations to keep employees, customers and our communities safe.