Twelve people attended the first 2020 Auditor Training Course in June while practicing social distancing. Even though the class was at half capacity to meet current social distancing guidelines, the same hands-on curriculum was covered. A second course has been added for November 10-13, 2020. ResponsibleAg is hopeful that the November class will be able to operate at full capacity with 24 seats available. There are only 9 seats left so sign up for the November class today!
No business wants to experience a workplace accident that results in loss of life for an employee, but if that tragic event happens, how do you and your team cope? This article from Rural Lifestyle Dealer describes how Interstate Equipment dealt with a fatal accident at the dealership. We share it as an example of how to manage the issues involved in this type of incident. Read story now.Back to Top
Number 6 on the ResponsibleAg list of Top 25 Audit Issues is Forklift, PIT Inspection & Maintenance. Powered industrial trucks must be visually examined at least daily before being placed in service and must not be placed in service if the examination shows any condition adversely affecting the safety of the vehicle. When industrial trucks are used on a round-the-clock basis, they must be visually examined after each shift. Any defects found must be immediately reported and corrected. Any power-operated industrial truck not in safe operating condition must be removed from service. Note: The auditor may determine compliance by visually inspecting the equipment and by interviewing operators.
For more information about these and other regulations and documentation, join ResponsibleAg. Program participants can quickly access all regulatory 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
An old ladder and a brand-new tanker truck might not seem to have much in common. But for Danielle Dusina and Sam Robinson, those objects represent a profound change in thinking among employees at the agribusinesses for which they handle environmental, health and safety (EHS) compliance. After ResponsibleAg audits at North Valley Ag in Chico, CA, and Mid Valley Agricultural Services, Inc., of Oakdale, CA, employees who participated in the audits and subsequent trainings began actively addressing potential safety issues — and voicing concerns.
Read more about how ResponsibleAg audits have empowered employees to become proactive and how safety has improved for two California ag retail organizations in the July Faces of ResponsibleAg.Back to Top
Is investing four to eight hours ‒ the typical time required for a ResponsibleAg audit ‒ worth potentially preventing a work-place injury or avoiding a citation from a regulatory agency? If you answered yes, but you haven’t signed up to participate in ResponsibleAg because you’re not sure of the benefits, audit process or time commitment, then learn more about the program from answers to some of the most asked questions. We’re confident you will find answers to your questions about the program.Back to Top
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) recently honored five retailer/farmer duos through the 4R Advocates Program. The accolade recognizes forward-thinking individuals who practice and advocate excellent nutrient stewardship following the 4Rs ― the right source, the right rate, the right time, applied in the right place.
The 2020 honorees are
Congratulations to each of these pairs for serving as a positive example of the 4Rs in practice! Read about their efforts.Back to Top
There’s still time to sign up and participate in the 2020 Safe + Sound Week, a nationwide event recognizing the successes of workplace safety and health programs. The program offers information for keeping American workers safe. Get ideas on building an effective year-round safety and health program in your workplace. Participation and sign up is easy.Back to Top
Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the DOT has extended the waiver for expiring Commercial Driver's Licenses (CDLs) and permits until September 30, 2020. Many CDL holders have been unable to renew their licenses and are unable to provide medical certificates to their State Driving Licensing Agencies. Plus, many medical providers canceled regularly scheduled appointments, and drivers have not been able to obtain appointments for physical examinations with medical examiners who comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Drivers claiming relief under this waiver must continue to carry a paper copy of their expired medical certificate. Employers should remind drivers not to wait too long to make an appointment with a physician to ensure they meet the extended deadline. Get more details.Back to Top
EPA recently reached settlements with two agricultural storage and supply businesses in Kansas to resolve alleged violations of Risk Management Program regulations. EPA inspected both companies in response to accidental releases of anhydrous ammonia that resulted in injuries to their employees. During the inspections, EPA determined that the companies failed to design their processes for handling anhydrous ammonia in compliance with good engineering practices and failed to meet other requirements intended to ensure adequate measures are in place to prevent and respond to an accidental release. In addition to the civil penalties amounting to more than $50,000 in fines, one company also agreed to purchase emergency response and preparedness equipment for three local fire departments at an estimated cost of more than $25,000.Back to Top
DOT is planning to immediately expand the use of remote motor carrier safety compliance reviews during the COVID-19 pandemic. The DOT intends to leverage all available technology to access information and records to limit the exposure risk for both the regulated community and safety investigators. Motor carriers may access and transmit their information directly through a portal and upload documents in a secure environment. They also may fax or email documents to FMCSA if they choose to or if they cannot access the portal.
DOT also may use email, telephone and video calls as a substitute for in-person interaction with motor carrier officials during the compliance review or to review the findings of the compliance review with company officials during the closing meeting. The guidance remains in effect until the revocation of the COVID-19 national emergency.Back to Top
Beginning June 5th, the DOT granted a 3-month waiver to relieve employers of commercial motor vehicle drivers from certain pre-employment requirements due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The waiver extends the period under which drivers would qualify for the pre-employment drug testing exception from 30 days to 90 days. Employers are allowed to forego pre-employment drug testing for drivers who have participated in a controlled substances testing program that meets certain requirements within the previous 90 days of hire or rehire. The waiver is subject to certain terms, conditions and restrictions but continues until September 30, 2020. Read waiver details here.Back to Top
The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program, one of our country’s most important anti-terrorism programs, expires on July 23rd of this year unless Congress acts fast. Please urge Congress to pass a long-term solution for keeping CFATS in place, which will help our country defend against potential terrorist threats and help keep chemical facilities secure. Contact your Congressional representatives today.Back to Top
ResponsibleAg is excited to announce these individuals who are now credentialed and available to audit ag retail facilities throughout the United States.
Andrew Snell, Nutrien Ag Solutions - Warsaw, IN
Jay Stoltenberg, Nutrien Ag Solutions - Wall Lake, IA
Mark Trainor, Grainco FS - Ottawa, IL
Richard Gaylord, Brandt Consolidated - Visalia, CA
Chris McLain, Agri-AFC - Selma, AL
Welcome to these facilities that are now Committed, Compliant, Safe, and Certified. We'd like to send a special shout out to the locations noted below with an asterisk*. They have completed recertification. The commitment to safety by all these facilities is an incredibly positive and important effort for our industry. 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.