Volume 46
Sep 14, 2021

Operations Managers Talk Safety, Rely on ResponsibleAg

Participation in the ResponsibleAg program is often driven by a company’s leadership or environmental, health and safety managers. But operations managers also have a stake in ensuring the facilities they oversee are compliant with all regulations and provide a safe environment for employees. Here’s what a few say about the program.

“We had a fire marshal inspect our facility. He saw our ResponsibleAg certification and instantly knew our facility was going to be in compliance. The ResponsibleAg certification program, and especially recertification, significantly increases safety awareness and hazard recognition at our facilities. It gives us eyes on the entire plant and allows us to continuously improve our practices and processes.”
Norman Etchegoin, J.R. Simplot Company, Regional Operations Manager in California

“Before joining ResponsibleAg, we thought we had very stringent protocols and processes in place, but as a small retail organization, GreenPoint AG doesn’t have a full environmental health and safety staff. Joining ResponsibleAg gave us renewed direction and tools to help us pinpoint areas that we needed to address, and it has allowed us to reach a level of compliance and operational uniformity we didn’t have before.”
Kent McPherson, Director of Business and Sales Development at GreenPoint AG, Memphis, Tennessee and former Director of Operations for the company

“ResponsibleAg covers the topics we need to consider for our specific location. It’s all there. The online resources are searchable and easy to use. The information gives step-by-step guidelines for daily processes, like vehicle inspections, and it has concise summaries of regulatory standards that can be printed as handouts.”
Tom Wenning, Operations Manager, Premier Ag in Salem and Corydon, Indiana

What Others Say Back to Top

Be Safe This Fall. Watch Your Inbox in November

Harvest is an extremely busy time of year for your employees and customers. When time is of the essence, it’s sometimes hard to slow down and think safety first. We encourage everyone to take steps to stay safe during this harvest season. We look forward to reconnecting with you with our November newsletter.

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Participation Benefits: Greater Access to EHS Expert-Approved Safety Resources

ResponsibleAg offers a broad range of industry-approved safety resources to companies that participate in the program―and even those that don’t. Since we’re all about safety, we are happy to share many of our compliance materials with others in the industry. However, we do make a few resources available only to participating companies. Take a look at some of the resources generally available. Register today to access additional top-of-the-line tools designed specifically to make it easier for you to meet regulations relating to your facility.

Register Today

Public Access

  • List of Significant Issues
  • Compliance Assessment Tool
  • MyRMP (Risk Management Program) Suite of Guidance
  • MyPSM (Process Safety Management) Suite of Guidance
  • MyPSM Training Modules

Participant-only Resources

  • Compliance Assistance Library, considered the “Gold Standard” by EHS professionals.
  • ResponsibleAg Auditor Guidance Reference
  • EZ Search
Guidance and Safety Resources Back to Top

Ag Retailers and ResponsibleAg Reach Major Milestone: 4,000+ Audits Completed

When agricultural retailers and ResponsibleAg join forces to put safety at the forefront, employees, local communities and the entire industry benefit. Together, we achieved a major milestone when ResponsibleAg completed its 4,000th compliance audit at the Rutherford Farmers Cooperative in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. And the number of completed audits keeps increasing. Congratulations to all participating ag retailers throughout the country who helped make this accomplishment possible.

ResponsibleAg Program Back to Top

100+ Gallon, Aboveground Fuel Tanks Require NFPA Markings

What’s No. #15 on ResponsibleAg’s annual ranking of the Top 25 Audit issues? It’s that each aboveground, stationary storage tank holding 100+ gallons of flammable liquids, such as gasoline or diesel fuel, must bear the appropriate National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) decal and designation identifying the material in the tank.

Why the requirement? NFPA markings are readily recognized by emergency responders if there’s a spill or fire. The NFPA 704 placarding system also may be required for buildings and areas with regulated amounts of hazardous materials.

This is just one example of the many regulations and documentation explained in detail within ResponsibleAg’s online Compliance Assistance Library. Program participants can quickly access all regulatory details by visiting this detailed online resource. If your organization isn’t participating in the ResponsibleAg program, register today for this and many other resources to ensure your business is compliant and your employees safe.

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Safety: An Important, but Tough, Responsibility of Ag Retailers

Tim McArdle believes ensuring safety through compliance is one of the most important, but among the toughest, responsibilities ag retailers have. It’s the reason he’s supported ResponsibleAg from the organization’s inception in 2014. In the July Faces of ResponsibleAg, McArdle, who is the retired COO of Brandt and retiring Chairman of the Board of ResponsibleAg, reflects on the organization’s accomplishments and his vision for the future.

Accomplishments, Future Goals Back to Top

Your Safety Investment Costs Less Than a Daily Cup of Joe

For the cost of less than a daily “cup of joe,” ag retailers can invest in the safety of their facilities by participating in the ResponsibleAg program. Annual registration fee for each ag retail facility is $150 per year ‒ only about 41 cents per day. What do ag retailers get in return? Plenty. Benefits include:

  • Exclusive access to numerous participant-only safety resources
  • Reduced potential for employee injuries and incidents
  • Reduced potential for OSHA, DOT, EPA and DHS violations
  • Enhanced facility safety and security
  • Supplement to existing safety program, making achieving compliance easier

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Celebrate National Farm Safety and Health Week, Sept. 19–25

Each day during National Farm Safety and Health Week, two free webinars related to the daily safety topic are available. Check out useful safety materials to share throughout the week. Encourage employees to tune into the daily safety webinars, including one on rural road safety on Sept. 20 and another covering agricultural fertilizer and chemical safety on Sept. 23.

Ag Safety Videos & Resources Back to Top

News from Around the Industry

Illinois Grain Coop Faces $300K+ Fines after Worker Is Engulfed in Bin

A central Illinois grain-handling cooperative faces $303,510 in fines for four citations resulting from a grain collapse in a soybean bin. While two workers were clearing the bin of crops and debris, the soybeans collapsed and one worker became engulfed in grain up to the waist. OSHA identified three willful, one serious and one other-than-serious safety citations. OSHA notes that six in 10 grain engulfments result in the death of a worker.

The safety citations included:

  • Allowing workers to enter the bin without first locking out or de-energizing hazardous equipment
  • Not having an attendant outside the bin to respond in case of emergency
  • Allowing employees to enter a grain bin when there were 10-15 feet of grain build-up on the sides of the bins
  • Directing employees to work on top of railcars without fall protection; and
  • Failing to test oxygen levels in a grain bin before directing employees to work inside it.

EPA Bans Chlorpyrifos Use on Food Crops

EPA is revoking all tolerances for chlorpyrifos pesticide use on food crops, with the new ruling taking effect in early 2022. The ban follows an order in April by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals directing EPA to halt the agricultural use of chlorpyrifos unless it could demonstrate the product’s safety. EPA is proceeding with reviewing registration for the remaining non-food uses of chlorpyrifos.

Welcome ResponsibleAg Credentialed Auditors

ResponsibleAg is excited to announce this individual is now credentialed.

  • Melissa Carter, Caledonia Farmers Elevator - Caledonia, MI

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More Facilities Earn ResponsibleAg Certification

Welcome to these facilities that are now Committed, Compliant, Safe and Certified. We'd like to send a special shout out to the locations that have completed recertification, noted below with an asterisk*. The commitment to safety by all these facilities represents an incredibly positive and important effort for our industry. Congratulations to all!

Brandt Consolidated - Cooksville, IL
*DeKalb Farmers Cooperative - Crossville, AL
Gavilon Fertilizer LLC - Creve Coeur, IL
GROWMARK Insight FS - Arlington, WI
GROWMARK Insight FS - Brodhead, WI
GROWMARK Insight FS - Cobb, WI
GROWMARK Insight FS - Darlington, WI
GROWMARK Insight FS - Mazomanie, WI
GROWMARK Insight FS - Oconomowoc, WI
GROWMARK Insight FS - Wautoma, WI
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Americus, GA
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Beloit, KS
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Biglerville, PA
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Cloverdale, VA
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Crystal Hill, VA
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Dana, IN
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Edgar, NE
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Hemingway, SC
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Kevil, KY
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Leoti, KS
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Liberty, IN
Nutrien Ag Solutions - Munday, TX
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Patoka, IN
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Rayville, LA
*Nutrien Ag Solutions - Vermillion, SD
*Premier Ag - Crothersville, IN
*Premier Ag - Salem, IN
Simplot Turf & Horticulture - Charlotte, NC
Simplot Turf & Horticulture - Kapolei, HI
*Yara North America, Inc. - West Sacramento, CA
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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.