Through a collaborative effort, OSHA, TFI, ARA and ResponsibleAg have created a video released last week depicting a Regional Emphasis Program (REP) inspection. The video of a mock audit was developed as a resource to help prepare retail farm centers who haven’t been through the OSHA audit process. The 10-minute video gives a brief overview of what facilities should expect. It was filmed at the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture in Owensboro, KY, where the ResponsibleAg Auditor training is conducted. You can find the video at ResponsibleAg.org under the News section by clicking the Media link or under the Participant section in Resources. Watch it here or on the OSHA website.
February 4, 2019, Richard Gupton, ARA’s Senior Vice President for Public Policy & Counsel, Chris Jahn, President & CEO of TFI, and Loren Sweatt, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, were among the leaders who formalized a two-year alliance.
The alliance will build upon the stewardship efforts associated with ResponsibleAg and help agricultural retail facilities comply with safety and health standards for handling and storing fertilizer products. The goal of everyone involved is to protect the health, safety and security of workers, emergency responders and their surrounding communities. OSHA’s Regional Emphasis Program (REP) for Fertilizer Grade Ammonium Nitrate and Agricultural Anhydrous Ammonia Facilities is the centerpiece of this effort. The first product developed as part of the agreement is the newly released video describing the inspection process under OSHA’s REP.
During the two-year effort, the alliance will provide information, guidance and training resources, and participants will share emergency response information with agribusiness communities and first responders. This is a positive step for the industry as ARA, TFI and OSHA work together on an issue that is top of mind for ag retailers.
Additional objectives of the alliance are:
The ResponsibleAg Technical Committee welcomes J. Billy Pirkle, President of Pirkle Solutions Inc., as its newest member. Billy is no stranger to the industry or to ResponsibleAg and brings expertise in regulatory compliance and agency interaction to the team. Billy is a committed volunteer and ag industry leader who testified before Congress on several key agricultural issues when he held global health, safety and environment responsibilities for the former Crop Production Services Inc., now Nutrien Ag Solutions. He has served on the ResponsibleAg board of directors, among others. Pirkle Solutions Inc. is an active member of ARA and TFI. Welcome back, Billy!Back to Top
Looking for a tool to help you explain the ResponsibleAg Certification Program and why you participate to community leaders, customers and others? The new ResponsibleAg brochure created last year is a handy educational tool you can order online. It explains the goal of the organization and the benefits of earning ResponsibleAg certification. You’ll can see an online version of the ResponsibleAg brochure here.
To order brochures, visit the ResponsibleAg Store online and follow the directions to order ― with or without your company’s logo. Non-branded brochures are free. Your business can make the new brochure its own by adding your company logo for a small fee. Use it as a handout or mail it in a #10 envelope.
The 2019 Auditor Training Course is coming up June 18–21, 2019, at the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture in Owensboro, KY. Only 10 seats remain for this comprehensive, hands-on four-day training course held in a former agrichemical facility retrofitted specifically for training. Sign up today while seats are still available!
To learn more about becoming an auditor, visit the “Become an Auditor” section at ResponsibleAg.org or call 270-683-6777. Don’t delay ‒ register now.
Be sure to visit ResponsibleAg during The Fertilizer Institute’s Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL, this week. ResponsibleAg volunteer leader Paul Poister, Chairman of the Communications Committee, and others will be there February 11-13. Look for them near the Registration Desk and stop by to say hello. It’s an excellent opportunity to get an update on ResponsibleAg’s initiatives. And, if you’ve thought about participating in the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, this is your chance to get answers to your questions and to register. We hope to see you there!Back to Top
Lockout-Tagout (LOTO) Program and Annual Review top the ResponsibleAg list of Top 25 Audit Issues. LOTO is a safety procedure used to control hazardous energy, ensuring machinery and equipment are properly shut off and not restarted before repair, maintenance or service is completed. Each year, facilities are required to review their LOTO program to ensure procedures are being followed and remain effective in preventing employee exposure to hazardous energy. Not fully up to speed on LOTO? ResponsibleAg members can quickly access all the details by visiting the online Compliance Assistance Library. Within each compliance assistance document, there is a link to complete information about the regulations in question.Back to Top
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program was set to expire in January but has been extended for an additional 15 months. The extension makes no program changes but provides time for Congress to work on a long-term reauthorization and to include reforms to the program, such as the recognition of industry stewardship programs like ResponsibleAg. The extension authorizes the program through April 18, 2020.Back to Top
The penalties for citations issued against employers for safety violations have gone up for 2019. OSHA has announced the adjustments for inflation. The maximum penalty that can be issued for serious, other-than-serious, and posting requirement citations increases to $13,260 per violation and the highest amount that can be issued for willful and repeat violations increases to $132,598 per violation. Going forward, expect to see these adjustments by January 15th of each new year.Back to Top
It's time to complete your 2018 injury and illness record keeping obligations by posting the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300A). OSHA requires that the form be displayed from February 1st to April 30th of each year in a conspicuous place where employee notices are customarily posted. Businesses with no injuries or illnesses for the year must still post the form. A company official must certify the information in Form 300A was examined and is believed to be correct and complete. Click here to access the form and instructions.
New for 2019: OSHA has eliminated the requirement for employers to electronically submit OSHA Forms 300 and 301 but has retained the requirement for companies of certain sizes to submit the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses form (OSHA Form 300A). All establishments with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the record keeping regulation must electronically submit Form 300A no later than March 2nd; the rule also applies to establishments with 20-249 employees in certain industries, including "warehousing and storage." One new requirement is that covered employers must submit their Employer Identification Number (EIN) to make the data more useful to OSHA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tabulates an annual summary of U.S. employee injuries and fatalities.
SARA Tier II submissions are due on March 1st. These are annual requirements that most retailers are familiar with; however, the penalties have become quite severe for non-compliance. The SARA Tier II report must be filed with the State Emergency Response Commission, Local Emergency Planning Commission and Fire Department. Be sure to follow your state’s instructions for submission and pay any applicable fees.
Pesticide Production Reports are also due on March 1st. This is an annual requirement by the U.S. EPA for facilities registered as Pesticide-Producing Establishments. A report is required even if no production occurred in the past year. Establishments that store pesticides in bulk and transfer the product to any other container, including, but not limited to a portable refillable container (PRC), a mini-bulk nurse vehicle or transfer truck, must be registered with U.S. EPA as a Pesticide-Producing Establishment prior to performing the repackaging activity.
Whether responsible for three employees or 20, managers at American Plant Food Corporation’s fertilizer-blending locations believe the ResponsibleAg audit helps improve employee safety. Justin Martin and Michael Murphy talked to us about what they learned and what they’ve changed after their ResponsibleAg audits. Get their insights in Faces of ResponsibleAg.Back to Top
To date, nearly 2,600 audits have been completed by certified auditors and more than 1,340 facilities have received certification from ResponsibleAg. The organization welcomes the latest facilities, listed below, that have received certification and are now Committed, Compliant, Safe and Certified. Welcome aboard and thank you for your efforts!
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.