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Newsletter
Volume 118
September 3, 2013
Special Delivery!
Jamie and her husband Josh recently received a special visit from the stork. They announced the birth of a bouncing baby boy, James "Cash" Lomax, born on July 22nd, weighing in at 6 pounds, 13 ounces and 19 inches long. Congratulations on the new arrival!
ResponsibleAg - Get a Head Start!
In the months ahead you will be hearing more about this initiative. The regulated community is already overwhelmed with regulations. In the wake of the West Fertilizer tragedy, the regulatory agencies - both State and Federal - have come under fire to prevent a tragedy such as West from ever occurring again. Agencies and legislators alike are calling for even more regulations. ResponsibleAg will help ensure our industry is aware of, and complies with, the regulations that are already in place. ResponsibleAg is already working to prevent additional unnecessary regulations.
How do I get a head start in preparing for the ResponsibleAg third-party audit? If you haven't already, complete the Comprehensive Risk Evaluation (CoRE) for your facility as soon as possible. Since the ResponsibleAg audit will check for compliance at each facility based on a comprehensive list of regulatory requirements - completing CoRE will allow you to self-audit your facility in preparation for the day when the ResponsibleAg auditor will show up. Click here to get started or to check your score if you have already started the CoRE process.
Spotlight Reminder: DHS Mailing
DHS made a mailing requesting each facility confirm their status with DHS by September 9, 2013. If your facility has already submitted a top screen and received a letter from DHS advising the status of your facility (Tier 1-4 or not a high risk), then mail them a copy of the letter via certified mail to prove you are in their system. Mail your documentation to: DHS Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD), IP/ISCD, Mail Stop 8100, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C. 20528-8100.
If you cannot find your documentation to prove you have completed your top screen, then call the CSAT Helpdesk at 866-323-2957 and request another copy be sent to you. If your facility has never submitted a top screen and does in fact have a Chemical of Interest that exceeds the threshold in Appendix A, then work immediately to complete your submission. Tip: Don't miss this deadline if you received a letter from DHS.
EPA, OSHA and ATF Issue Advisory on....Safe Storage, Handling and Management of Ammonium Nitrate
On August 30, 2013, EPA, OSHA and ATF issued an advisory that provides information on the hazards of ammonium nitrate (AN) storage, handling and management. The action supports the goals of President Obama's August 2013 executive order on "Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security." The advisory provides lessons learned for facility owners and operators, emergency planners and first responders from recent incidents, including the explosion in West, Texas, involving AN in order to prevent similar incidents. "Understanding and minimizing the hazards posed by solid ammonium nitrate used in fertilizers is a key component of this advisory," said Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. "Ammonium nitrate can be very dangerous, and it's imperative that employers, workers and first responders all understand the hazards," said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. Arthur Herbert, ATF Assistant Director for the Office of Enforcement Programs and Services, said "ATF is committed to working towards development of best practices in collaboration with our federal partners, industry members and their association representatives." The advisory takes steps now to reduce the risks associated with AN to workers, first responders and communities. It is part of an ongoing coordinated federal government effort to improve chemical safety with regards to AN and includes information on ensuring proper building design, storage containers and fire protection at their locations; learning from other accidents; and knowing and understanding the hazards that exist when developing their emergency response plans. Click here to view the Joint Advisory or the Executive Order.
DOT Reviews Need for Post-Trip Inspection Report Paperwork
Current federal regulations require commercial truck drivers to conduct pre-trip and post-trip equipment inspections and file Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs) after each inspection, regardless of whether or not an issue requiring repairs is identified. On July 31st, newly installed Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced a proposal to reduce paperwork requirements for truckers and trucking fleets. The proposal would maintain pre- and post-trip inspections for commercial truck drivers, but eliminate the need to file DVIRs if no repair action is necessary. DVIRs are the 19th highest paperwork burden, based on the number of hours needed to comply, imposed across all federal agencies and only 5% of reports filed include defects.
Bill Introduced on Minimum Insurance Requirements for Motor Carriers
Congress established the current insurance minimum in 1980 at $750,000. This minimum requirement has not been raised in more than 30 years. In present dollars, adjusted for the increase in the cost of medical care, it takes more than $4.4 million to provide for the equivalent of the $750,000 in the original law. U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright recently introduced the Safe and Fair Environment on Highways Achieved through Underwriting Levels Act (H.R. 2730) or "A SAFE HAUL." The bill would raise the required insurance minimum for motor carriers. This proposed bill would increase the required insurance minimum for motor carriers from $750,000 to $4,422,000. The bill would also tie the future insurance minimum requirement to the cost of medical care inflation.
Kansas Issues New Guidance on Custom Fertilizer Blender/Retailer Exemption
The federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), in sections 311-312, requires facilities that store hazardous chemicals above certain threshold quantities to file annual inventories of those chemicals. In Kansas, those inventory reports - referred to as SARA Tier II reports - are filed with the "Right to Know Program" coordinator at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).
Section 311(e)(5) of EPCRA federally exempts "fertilizers held for sale by a retailer to the ultimate consumer" from the definition of a "hazardous chemical" and, therefore, from the SARA Tier II filing requirements. Historically, KDHE has applied this "retailer exemption" to custom fertilizer blenders when fertilizer products were blended on a custom, per-customer basis, and the blender did not stock-pile those products.
Earlier this year, however, EPA released guidance that it would no longer allow states to apply the retailer exemption to custom fertilizer blenders. After EPA's announcement, the Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA) staff reached out to KDHE "Right to Know Program" coordinator, Marla Oestreich, for KDHE's guidance on this issue. KDHE responded to KARA on August 13, 2013, following a meeting with EPA. According to KDHE, Kansas was the only state in EPA Region 7 that still allowed custom fertilizer blenders to take advantage of the retailer exemption to SARA Tier II reporting. KDHE provided KARA with its new guidance on how it would apply the retailer exemption in the future, as follows:
  • EPA Region 7 directed KDHE to enforce EPA's interpretation of the retailer exemption beginning in the 2014 reporting year.
  • Under EPA's interpretation, the retailer exemption will only apply to finished, non-blended, fertilizer products.
  • Facilities that blend fertilizer are not exempt from Tier II reporting under the exemption.
  • If a facility mixes/blends fertilizers, then that facility will now be required to file annual SARA Tier II inventory reports with KDHE, for all hazardous chemicals held above the threshold quantities.
KARA disagrees with EPA's interpretation on this point under EPCRA, but issued this information to help ensure their agribusiness members have the most current information. Click here to view EPA's rationale that changes this longstanding interpretation. Thanks to Tom Tunnell and the KARA staff for their work on this issue.
Georgia's Greg Sikes Farm Cited for Grain Bin Hazards
OSHA has cited Greg Sikes Farm LLC, with two willful and five serious safety violations and proposed penalties of $127,400. The Brooklet, Georgia farm was inspected in February upon notice that a worker had become entrapped inside a grain handling storage bin while attempting to clear soybeans from a jammed auger. Two willful violations involve failing to ensure the screw auger is locked out when workers are inside the bin and provide workers a body harness with a lifeline upon bin entry. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Six serious violations include failing to develop an emergency action plan, provide annual training on grain handling hazards and obtain permits addressing bin entry procedures and requirements. The company also failed to equip the workers who entered the bin with rescue equipment, allowed workers to walk on the grain and did not ensure that an observer was stationed outside during bin entry or was equipped to provide assistance in case of an emergency. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
OSHA has been actively working with the grain and agricultural industries to educate employers and workers about the six major hazards of the grain and feed industry. Through training, decals, brochures, websites and other means of communication, OSHA will continue to work to improve awareness of these hazards to ensure the safety and health of workers on farms and in grain handling facilities.
Reminder: Training Deadline Coming Up on GHS
OSHA's revised Hazard Communication Standard took effect on May 25, 2012 and requires sweeping mandatory training for most employers across the country on the new requirements for chemical labeling and the new Safety Data Sheets by December 1, 2013. The revision aligned OSHA's rules with the internationally accepted Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).
Any employer that uses hazardous chemicals in its workplace is subject to the communication and training requirements. Training issues for employers include:
  • Labels - Employers must train employees on new labeling elements including: product identifiers, OSHA signal words, pictograms and precautionary statements.
  • Safety Data Sheets (SDS) - Employers must train employees on the new standardized format of SDS (formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)).
  • New format for categorizing hazards - The new system rates the severity of hazards on a 5-point scale (5 = least severe and 1 = most severe). The old Hazard Materials Identification System (HMIS) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) use the opposite (5 = most severe and 1 = least severe).
Chemical manufacturers, importers and distributors must comply with new hazard classifications and the classifications of chemical mixtures on their labels by June 1, 2015. Distributors may ship chemicals labeled by manufacturers under the old systems until December 1, 2015. During the transition period, chemical manufacturers may use either labeling system and that is why employers are required to train their employees to recognize the new labels and SDS documents.
Note: The Asmark Institute video team updated the Hazard Communication training program last year and the new GHS-compliant training program was included in your DVD exchange completed last December. Please check your training schedule to make sure that your facility has completed this training before the December 1, 2013 deadline.
Illinois Signs Truck Scale Legislation
During Ag Day recently at the Illinois State Fair, Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation making changes to the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) Weights & Measures Act. These changes were the result of cooperative negotiations with IDOA. The legislation assures the following:
  • Truck scales that have been certified by IDOA as of July 1, 2012 do not need to produce a Certificate of Conformance;
  • The word "new" is removed from the Act; all truck scales must meet Handbook 44 standards for accuracy and change of ownership does not trigger any new requirements on scale owners so long as the scale meets accuracy standards.
  • If a truck scale is missing its identification tag, you can now work through IDOA to receive a new identification plate for tracking purposes.
The passage of this bill was a joint effort of the Illinois Fertilizer Chemical Association, the Grain & Feed Association of Illinois and the Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers. Originally, IDOA requested Certificates of Conformance for all truck scales in February 2012. This was problematic for many older (but still accurate) scales. Thanks to Jean Payne with IFCA and Jeff Adkisson with GFAI for their work on this issue.
Inspection Season for Grain Facilities: September
The Grain and Feed Association of Illinois advises that grain facilities need to be prepared for audits as OSHA's fiscal year ends September 30th. Approximately 70 inspections in the state of Illinois were planned during their fiscal year and since no one knows how many have already been conducted - experts like John Lee, Director of Safety, Health & Environmental Services for GFAI, anticipates there will be a surge of audits to make the deadline during September before their year ends. Lee provided the following list of items OSHA will request to see during their audit.
  • OSHA 300A forms for the years 2009, 2010 and 2011. [1904.32]
  • OSHA 300 form for the current year 2012. [1904.29]
  • Permit-Required Confined Space Program and copies of any entry permits issued in the last 3 months. [1910.146(d)]
  • Bin Entry Procedures and copies of any entry permits issued in the last 3 months. [1910.272(g)]
  • Flat Storage Structures Entry Procedures. [1910.272(h)]
  • Fall Protection Program. [1910.23]
  • Housekeeping Program. [1910.272(j)]
  • Hot Work Permit Program and copies of any hot work permits issued in the last 3 months. [1910.272(f)]
  • Emergency Action Plan. [1910.272(d) and 1910.38(a)]
  • Training Records for the employees at the facility for the past year. [1910.272(e)]
  • Personal Protective Equipment hazard selection and equipment selection. [1910.132(d)]
  • Lockout/Tagout Program. [1910.147(c)(1) and 191.272(m)(4)]
  • Procedures of the use of Sweep Augers. [1910.272(g)(1)(ii)]
  • Preventive Maintenance Procedures. [1910.272(m)(1)]
  • Certification records for the inspections conducted under your Preventive Maintenance Program. [1910.272(m)(3)]
  • Powered Industrial Truck training. [1910.178(l)]
  • Certification records of Powered Industrial Truck training. [1910.178(l)(6)]
  • Plot Plan Map
Need Help? The Grain and Feed Association of Illinois (GFAI) and the Asmark Institute have partnered to provide a series of high-quality, hands-on training to the personnel within the agricultural industry who handle grain. Two courses in the new series are offered at the new Agricenter training complex located in Bloomington, Illinois. John Lee, Director of Safety, Health & Environmental Services for GFAI, will be the lead instructor for the new courses. Welcome to the Grain Industry is a basic one-day course geared to the needs of employees new to the grain industry and will cover OSHA's grain handling standard along with demonstrations and scenarios designed to reinforce the message of safety. Safe Grain Handling Operations is a two-day course that immerses the participant in an environment that is as close to real as possible. This intermediate course is designed for experienced grain handling personnel and uses a variety of demonstrations, equipment and scenarios to exercise the participant's existing capacity to reflect on the safety issues they have encountered and engages them to apply their knowledge and skills to find workable solutions. Click here for more information.
262 Workplaces Inspected Since April: Focus is Temporary Workers
In a recent webinar hosted by the American Staffing Association, Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA and other key OSHA staff members provided additional insight on the enforcement and outreach initiatives being used to ensure temporary workers are protected from workplace hazards. One message that came through loud and clear is that temporary workers are entitled to the same safety and health protections as direct-hire employees and both employers are responsible for complying with all relevant OSHA safety and health requirements.
According to Thomas Galassi, Director, OSHA Directorate of Enforcement Programs, the field instruction sent April 29th that highlighted the importance of protecting temporary workers, has resulted in 262 inspections that have been or are being conducted identifying temporary workers exposed to safety and health violations. Thus far, 270 violations have been cited at workplaces where temporary workers are present. However, some of the 262 inspections are still open, so this data continues to mature.
The most frequent violations found at workplaces where temporary workers are identified include:
  • Electrical hazards
  • Hazards requiring lockout/tagout protections
  • Machine Guarding
  • Fall Protection
  • Hazard Communication
  • Powered Industrial Trucks
OSHA has concerns that:
  • Some employers may use temporary workers as a way to avoid meeting all their compliance obligations under the OSH Act and other worker protection laws.
  • Temporary workers get placed in a variety of jobs, including the most hazardous jobs.
  • Temporary workers are more vulnerable to workplace safety and health hazards and retaliation than workers in traditional employment relationships.
  • Temporary workers are often not given adequate safety and health training or explanations of their duties by either the temporary staffing agency or the host employer.
If your company utilizes temporary employees, it is essential to comply with all relevant OSHA requirements.
Recording Batch Codes Clarified
We recently received clarification in the form of a statement developed by EPA in response to a number of inquiries about the batch code requirements. There appears to be some confusion about the requirements for recording batch codes by bulk repackaging facilities. Nancy Fitz with EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs provided the following statement designed to provide clarification.
This statement focuses on pesticide repackagers, which are pesticide producing establishments that are repackaging a pesticide under contract with the registrant. These facilities must comply with the repackaging requirements in 40 CFR 165.70 in the pesticide container-containment regulations. (They may also be subject to the containment regulations in 40 CFR 165.80 - 165.97.) Because repackaging pesticides is defined as pesticide production, these establishments must also comply with the regulations on the Registration of Pesticide and Active Ingredient Producing Establishments, Submission of Pesticide Reports in 40 CFR Part 167 and the Books and Records of Pesticide Production and Distribution regulations in 40 CFR Part 169.
There are two separate requirements in these regulations that address batch codes. First, §169.2 requires producers - including repackagers - to maintain records of the product name, EPA Registration Number, amounts per batch and batch identification. Second, §156.140(a) from the pesticide container (label) regulations requires the batch code to be on the label or container for nonrefillable containers. This is not a requirement for refillable containers.
While each refillable container must be marked in a durable and clearly visible manner with a serial number or other identifying code that will distinguish the individual container from all other containers (40 CFR 165.45(d)), this is not the same as a batch code. The repackaging regulations require refillers to record three pieces of information each time a pesticide is repackaged into a refillable container: (1) the EPA Registration Number of the pesticide; (2) the date of repackaging; and (3) the serial number or other identifying code of the container. These records must be kept for three years.
Therefore, a pesticide producing establishment that is repackaging a pesticide under contract with the registrant is required to keep batch codes in their production records. EPA does not specify the specific format of a batch code or lot code associated with production and the records associated with that production. However, the batch code is NOT required to be marked on the label or container of a stationary refillable (bulk) container or a portable refillable container.
See below for the relevant regulatory text from 40 CFR 156.140(a)(4), 169.1(b) and 169.2(a):
  • §156.140 Identification of container types. For products other than plant-incorporated protectants, the following statements, as applicable, must be placed on the label or container. The information may be located on any part of the container except the closure. If the statements are placed on the container, they must be durably marked on the container. Durable marking includes, but is not limited to etching, embossing, ink jetting, stamping, heat stamping, mechanically attaching a plate, molding, or marking with durable ink.
  • Nonrefillable container. For nonrefillable containers, the statements in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(4) of this section are required except as provided in paragraphs (a)(5), (c), (d) and (e) of this section. ... (4) Batch code. A lot number, or other code used by the registrant or producer to identify the batch of the pesticide product which is distributed and sold.
  • Refillable container. For refillable containers, one of the following statements is required except as provided in paragraphs (c), (d) and (e) of this section. ... (1) "Refillable Container. Refill this container with pesticide only. Do not reuse this container for any other purpose."
  • (2) "Refillable Container. Refill this container with [common chemical name] only. Do not reuse this container for any other purpose."
  • §169.1 Definitions. ... (b) Batch. The term "batch" means a quantity of a pesticide product or active ingredient used in producing a pesticide made in one operation or lot or if made in a continuous or semi-continuous process or cycle, the quantity produced during an interval of time to be specified by the producer.
  • §169.2 Maintenance of records. All producers of pesticides, devices, or active ingredients used in producing pesticides subject to this Act, including pesticides produced pursuant to an experimental use permit and pesticides, devices, and pesticide active ingredients produced for export, shall maintain the following records: (a) Records showing the product name, EPA Registration Number, Experimental Permit Number if the pesticide is produced under an Experimental Use Permit, amounts per batch and batch identification (numbers, letters, etc.) of all pesticides produced. In cases where the product is an active ingredient used in producing a pesticide or where the product is a pesticide which is not registered, is not the subject of an application for registration, or is not produced under an Experimental Use Permit, the records shall also show the complete formula. The batch identification shall appear on all production control records. These records shall be retained for a period of two (2) years.
Take Time to Review Your Eyewash Unit
About 15% of all workplace eye injuries result in temporary or permanent vision loss according to OSHA. When the eyes come in contact with dangerous or irritating chemicals, flushing them immediately with emergency eyewash is the single most effective way to remove harmful substances and to ensure the best possible outcome. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z358.1-2009 standard for emergency eyewash and shower equipment calls for eyewash to be present at the site of any hazardous material that can cause adverse effects on an individual's health and safety. To determine whether your worksite requires emergency eyewash, conduct a thorough walkthrough to assess the tasks performed and their related hazards. If flying objects, splashing chemicals, harmful vapors or liquids, or heavy dust are potential hazards, eyewash is likely required. ANSI calls for primary eyewash to be available within a 10-second walk of harmful materials and for the eyes to undergo a continuous 15-minute flush with the fluid temperature ranging between 60℉ and 100℉. Since an injured worker's vision will likely be impaired, the travel path must be free of obstructions and on the same level as the hazard, and the eyewash area should be clearly marked and well lit. In the case of corrosive chemicals such as strong caustics and strong acids, eyewash should be placed adjacent to the hazard. In addition, primary eyewash units must require only one hand to activate, including any dust cover. Fostering increased familiarity with eyewash stations in advance will serve your company well in the case of an eye injury.
Historic Agricultural Data Now Online
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) simplified access to historic data by putting 77 years' worth of agricultural statistics online. In the past, this information, published in the annual bulletin Agricultural Statistics, was available in print form only. For instance, did you know ... In 1933, hybrid corn seeds made up only one-tenth of 1 percent of the national crop. Within ten years, that proportion reached 50%, and by 1956, more than 90% of the national corn crop was from hybrid seeds ... or that Iowa harvested 2.36 billion bushels of corn in 2011, more than the entire U.S. corn harvest of 1935 ... or that once staples of American farms, horse and mule populations fell from 18.7 million in 1930 to 3.1 million in 1960, after which the statistic was discontinued. Click here to visit the NASS website.
Hours of Service Case Finally Decided
A federal appeals court has decided to allow most of DOT's new hours-of-service (HOS) rules to stand. In a highly anticipated opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied petitions from both the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and Public Citizen. The groups dragged DOT to court to force the agency to withdraw the truck driver hours-of-service rules it issued in December 2011. The rules came into full effect on July 1, 2013.
The court said the only portion of the new rules that cannot stand is the requirement for short-haul drivers - those who work locally and return home every day - to take a 30-minute rest break every 8 hours. After hearing three HOS cases over the past decade, the court decided that the contentious issues that remain are "highly technical points best left to the agency."
Short Haul
The "small exception" in the case is a new rule in 49 CFR §395.3 requiring all interstate drivers of property-carrying vehicles to take a 30-minute rest break at least every 8 hours. The court decided to vacate the application of that rule to short-haul drivers, stating that the DOT failed to justify it. In its opinion issued August 2, 2013, the court left intact the rest-break requirement for long-haul drivers and all other provisions of the current HOS rules, including new restrictions on use of the 34-hour "restart" option.
The 30-minute break continues to be a point of confusion for many - one month after the HOS rule implemented, questions still posed on practical application. The revised federal hours-of-service rules went into effect on July 1, 2013. Based on the variety of questions posed since the changes to the HOS rules, it appears that many within the transportation industry still desire clarity on the 30-minute break requirement.
The following is a summary of the more frequently asked questions on the topic.
Applicability
Q: Do oilfield drivers need the 30-minute break?
A: Yes. Drivers using either of the oilfield exceptions in Sec. 395.1(d) are required to comply with the 30-minute rest-break requirement. Drivers eligible for the "waiting time" exception (305.1(d)(2)) can use off-duty waiting time as their break.
Q: Do hazmat drivers need to take the mandatory break?
A: Yes. Drivers hauling hazardous materials are subject to the requirement for a mandatory 30-minute break, and it must be spent "off duty" unless transporting Division 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3 explosives. Drivers transporting these explosives must remain "on duty" at all times while "attending" the load (see Sec. 397.5), so they are allowed to show their mandatory breaks as "on duty" as long as they enter a remark on the log to designate a 30-minute period as their break. No other work (other than attending to the load) can be performed during the break. Other hazmat drivers who are required to attend their loads while operating on public highways under Sec. 397.5 must be allowed to go "off duty" for their breaks.
Q: If a driver won't be driving after the 8th hour, does he or she need a break?
A: No, not under the federal HOS rules. The rules only restrict drivers from driving a property-carrying CMV after 8 hours without a break. If a driver will be working but not driving a CMV after 8 hours, then no break is required.
Requirements
Q: Does a driver need a 30-minute break every 8 hours of driving?
A: The 8 hours are consecutive hours, so they include driving and all other time (including any breaks that are less than 30 minutes). The new rule says you have to stop driving CMVs once you reach 8 consecutive hours past the end of your last break of at least 30 consecutive minutes.
Q: Might some drivers need more than one break each day?
A: Yes. Drivers who work long days or who take the 30-minute break too early, may need two or more breaks in one day. For example, a driver who takes the break after the first hour of the day and who has another 9 hours of driving ahead will need a second break within 8 hours after the end of the first break. The longer the work day, the more likely a second break could be needed (especially if the first break is taken too early).
Recordkeeping
Q: How do you log the 30-minute break?
A: To be counted as a valid break (for compliance with the 8-hour/30-minute rule), it must be logged "off-duty" or "sleeper berth." Any time that must be logged as "on duty" based on the definition of "on duty time" in section 395.2 cannot count as a valid break (except in the case of certain drivers transporting explosives who must "attend" the cargo and can use attendance time as their break). In general, to be "off-duty" the driver must be free of all obligations and responsibilities and free to leave the premises. Note that any kind of "off-duty" or "sleeper berth" time will satisfy the rule. For example, a lunch break, a 10-hour break, time spent resting in a sleeper berth (even if used for the "split sleeper" option), or time spent resting in a parked vehicle, will satisfy the break requirement in most cases. The key is that drivers must be relieved of all duty and responsibility and be free to walk away from the vehicle and cargo for the duration of the break.
Q: How does the 30-minute break affect the 14-hour rule?
A: The 30-minute break must be spent "off-duty" and/or in a sleeper berth, but no matter how it is spent it must be counted as part of the driver's 14-hour allowance. The driver does not get 14 hours of on-duty time in addition to the 30-minute break. It takes 30 minutes out of the driver's 14 available hours. The breaks will not extend the 14-hour window.
Transition Begins to New Area Code in Western Kentucky
Area code 364 is being added to the same geographic area as the current area code 270 in March 2014. August 3rd marked the start of a six-month "permissive dialing" period during which customers will be able to dial either seven or 10 digits when making local calls in area code 270. Mandatory 10-digit-dialing of local calls begins February 1, 2014. Area code 364 was created in December 2012 when the PSC decided that the best way to meet the need for more telephone numbers in area code 270 was through the creation of an overlay, which superimposes a new area code over an existing area code. Dialing 1 for local calls will not be necessary under any circumstance and local calls will not become long-distance calls. The first numbers using area code 364 may be assigned beginning March 3, 2014. Area code 270 numbers can be assigned after that date, but their availability will depend on how many remain in the inventory of each individual service provider.
Most Quotable: "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson, one of America's Founding Fathers, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States. He was a spokesman for democracy and the rights of man with worldwide influence.
2013 Asmark Institute, Inc. This information is believed to be reliable by the Asmark Institute, however, because of constantly changing government regulations, interpretations and applicability or the possibility of human, mechanical or computer error, the Asmark Institute does not guarantee the information as suitable for any particular purpose.
Special Delivery!
Jamie and her husband Josh recently received a special visit from the stork. They announced the birth of a bouncing baby boy, James "Cash" Lomax, born on July 22nd, weighing in at 6 pounds, 13 ounces and 19 inches long. Congratulations on the new arrival!
ResponsibleAg - Get a Head Start!
In the months ahead you will be hearing more about this initiative. The regulated community is already overwhelmed with regulations. In the wake of the West Fertilizer tragedy, the regulatory agencies - both State and Federal - have come under fire to prevent a tragedy such as West from ever occurring again. Agencies and legislators alike are calling for even more regulations. ResponsibleAg will help ensure our industry is aware of, and complies with, the regulations that are already in place. ResponsibleAg is already working to prevent additional unnecessary regulations.
How do I get a head start in preparing for the ResponsibleAg third-party audit? If you haven't already, complete the Comprehensive Risk Evaluation (CoRE) for your facility as soon as possible. Since the ResponsibleAg audit will check for compliance at each facility based on a comprehensive list of regulatory requirements - completing CoRE will allow you to self-audit your facility in preparation for the day when the ResponsibleAg auditor will show up. Click here to get started or to check your score if you have already started the CoRE process.
Spotlight Reminder: DHS Mailing
DHS made a mailing requesting each facility confirm their status with DHS by September 9, 2013. If your facility has already submitted a top screen and received a letter from DHS advising the status of your facility (Tier 1-4 or not a high risk), then mail them a copy of the letter via certified mail to prove you are in their system. Mail your documentation to: DHS Infrastructure Security Compliance Division (ISCD), IP/ISCD, Mail Stop 8100, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C. 20528-8100.
If you cannot find your documentation to prove you have completed your top screen, then call the CSAT Helpdesk at 866-323-2957 and request another copy be sent to you. If your facility has never submitted a top screen and does in fact have a Chemical of Interest that exceeds the threshold in Appendix A, then work immediately to complete your submission. Tip: Don't miss this deadline if you received a letter from DHS.
EPA, OSHA and ATF Issue Advisory on....Safe Storage, Handling and Management of Ammonium Nitrate
On August 30, 2013, EPA, OSHA and ATF issued an advisory that provides information on the hazards of ammonium nitrate (AN) storage, handling and management. The action supports the goals of President Obama's August 2013 executive order on "Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security." The advisory provides lessons learned for facility owners and operators, emergency planners and first responders from recent incidents, including the explosion in West, Texas, involving AN in order to prevent similar incidents. "Understanding and minimizing the hazards posed by solid ammonium nitrate used in fertilizers is a key component of this advisory," said Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. "Ammonium nitrate can be very dangerous, and it's imperative that employers, workers and first responders all understand the hazards," said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. Arthur Herbert, ATF Assistant Director for the Office of Enforcement Programs and Services, said "ATF is committed to working towards development of best practices in collaboration with our federal partners, industry members and their association representatives." The advisory takes steps now to reduce the risks associated with AN to workers, first responders and communities. It is part of an ongoing coordinated federal government effort to improve chemical safety with regards to AN and includes information on ensuring proper building design, storage containers and fire protection at their locations; learning from other accidents; and knowing and understanding the hazards that exist when developing their emergency response plans. Click here to view the Joint Advisory or the Executive Order.
DOT Reviews Need for Post-Trip Inspection Report Paperwork
Current federal regulations require commercial truck drivers to conduct pre-trip and post-trip equipment inspections and file Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs) after each inspection, regardless of whether or not an issue requiring repairs is identified. On July 31st, newly installed Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced a proposal to reduce paperwork requirements for truckers and trucking fleets. The proposal would maintain pre- and post-trip inspections for commercial truck drivers, but eliminate the need to file DVIRs if no repair action is necessary. DVIRs are the 19th highest paperwork burden, based on the number of hours needed to comply, imposed across all federal agencies and only 5% of reports filed include defects.
Bill Introduced on Minimum Insurance Requirements for Motor Carriers
Congress established the current insurance minimum in 1980 at $750,000. This minimum requirement has not been raised in more than 30 years. In present dollars, adjusted for the increase in the cost of medical care, it takes more than $4.4 million to provide for the equivalent of the $750,000 in the original law. U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright recently introduced the Safe and Fair Environment on Highways Achieved through Underwriting Levels Act (H.R. 2730) or "A SAFE HAUL." The bill would raise the required insurance minimum for motor carriers. This proposed bill would increase the required insurance minimum for motor carriers from $750,000 to $4,422,000. The bill would also tie the future insurance minimum requirement to the cost of medical care inflation.
Kansas Issues New Guidance on Custom Fertilizer Blender/Retailer Exemption
The federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), in sections 311-312, requires facilities that store hazardous chemicals above certain threshold quantities to file annual inventories of those chemicals. In Kansas, those inventory reports - referred to as SARA Tier II reports - are filed with the "Right to Know Program" coordinator at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).
Section 311(e)(5) of EPCRA federally exempts "fertilizers held for sale by a retailer to the ultimate consumer" from the definition of a "hazardous chemical" and, therefore, from the SARA Tier II filing requirements. Historically, KDHE has applied this "retailer exemption" to custom fertilizer blenders when fertilizer products were blended on a custom, per-customer basis, and the blender did not stock-pile those products.
Earlier this year, however, EPA released guidance that it would no longer allow states to apply the retailer exemption to custom fertilizer blenders. After EPA's announcement, the Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA) staff reached out to KDHE "Right to Know Program" coordinator, Marla Oestreich, for KDHE's guidance on this issue. KDHE responded to KARA on August 13, 2013, following a meeting with EPA. According to KDHE, Kansas was the only state in EPA Region 7 that still allowed custom fertilizer blenders to take advantage of the retailer exemption to SARA Tier II reporting. KDHE provided KARA with its new guidance on how it would apply the retailer exemption in the future, as follows:
  • EPA Region 7 directed KDHE to enforce EPA's interpretation of the retailer exemption beginning in the 2014 reporting year.
  • Under EPA's interpretation, the retailer exemption will only apply to finished, non-blended, fertilizer products.
  • Facilities that blend fertilizer are not exempt from Tier II reporting under the exemption.
  • If a facility mixes/blends fertilizers, then that facility will now be required to file annual SARA Tier II inventory reports with KDHE, for all hazardous chemicals held above the threshold quantities.
KARA disagrees with EPA's interpretation on this point under EPCRA, but issued this information to help ensure their agribusiness members have the most current information. Click here to view EPA's rationale that changes this longstanding interpretation. Thanks to Tom Tunnell and the KARA staff for their work on this issue.
Georgia's Greg Sikes Farm Cited for Grain Bin Hazards
OSHA has cited Greg Sikes Farm LLC, with two willful and five serious safety violations and proposed penalties of $127,400. The Brooklet, Georgia farm was inspected in February upon notice that a worker had become entrapped inside a grain handling storage bin while attempting to clear soybeans from a jammed auger. Two willful violations involve failing to ensure the screw auger is locked out when workers are inside the bin and provide workers a body harness with a lifeline upon bin entry. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.
Six serious violations include failing to develop an emergency action plan, provide annual training on grain handling hazards and obtain permits addressing bin entry procedures and requirements. The company also failed to equip the workers who entered the bin with rescue equipment, allowed workers to walk on the grain and did not ensure that an observer was stationed outside during bin entry or was equipped to provide assistance in case of an emergency. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
OSHA has been actively working with the grain and agricultural industries to educate employers and workers about the six major hazards of the grain and feed industry. Through training, decals, brochures, websites and other means of communication, OSHA will continue to work to improve awareness of these hazards to ensure the safety and health of workers on farms and in grain handling facilities.
Reminder: Training Deadline Coming Up on GHS
OSHA's revised Hazard Communication Standard took effect on May 25, 2012 and requires sweeping mandatory training for most employers across the country on the new requirements for chemical labeling and the new Safety Data Sheets by December 1, 2013. The revision aligned OSHA's rules with the internationally accepted Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).
Any employer that uses hazardous chemicals in its workplace is subject to the communication and training requirements. Training issues for employers include:
  • Labels - Employers must train employees on new labeling elements including: product identifiers, OSHA signal words, pictograms and precautionary statements.
  • Safety Data Sheets (SDS) - Employers must train employees on the new standardized format of SDS (formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)).
  • New format for categorizing hazards - The new system rates the severity of hazards on a 5-point scale (5 = least severe and 1 = most severe). The old Hazard Materials Identification System (HMIS) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) use the opposite (5 = most severe and 1 = least severe).
Chemical manufacturers, importers and distributors must comply with new hazard classifications and the classifications of chemical mixtures on their labels by June 1, 2015. Distributors may ship chemicals labeled by manufacturers under the old systems until December 1, 2015. During the transition period, chemical manufacturers may use either labeling system and that is why employers are required to train their employees to recognize the new labels and SDS documents.
Note: The Asmark Institute video team updated the Hazard Communication training program last year and the new GHS-compliant training program was included in your DVD exchange completed last December. Please check your training schedule to make sure that your facility has completed this training before the December 1, 2013 deadline.
Illinois Signs Truck Scale Legislation
During Ag Day recently at the Illinois State Fair, Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation making changes to the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) Weights & Measures Act. These changes were the result of cooperative negotiations with IDOA. The legislation assures the following:
  • Truck scales that have been certified by IDOA as of July 1, 2012 do not need to produce a Certificate of Conformance;
  • The word "new" is removed from the Act; all truck scales must meet Handbook 44 standards for accuracy and change of ownership does not trigger any new requirements on scale owners so long as the scale meets accuracy standards.
  • If a truck scale is missing its identification tag, you can now work through IDOA to receive a new identification plate for tracking purposes.
The passage of this bill was a joint effort of the Illinois Fertilizer Chemical Association, the Grain & Feed Association of Illinois and the Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers. Originally, IDOA requested Certificates of Conformance for all truck scales in February 2012. This was problematic for many older (but still accurate) scales. Thanks to Jean Payne with IFCA and Jeff Adkisson with GFAI for their work on this issue.
Inspection Season for Grain Facilities: September
The Grain and Feed Association of Illinois advises that grain facilities need to be prepared for audits as OSHA's fiscal year ends September 30th. Approximately 70 inspections in the state of Illinois were planned during their fiscal year and since no one knows how many have already been conducted - experts like John Lee, Director of Safety, Health & Environmental Services for GFAI, anticipates there will be a surge of audits to make the deadline during September before their year ends. Lee provided the following list of items OSHA will request to see during their audit.
  • OSHA 300A forms for the years 2009, 2010 and 2011. [1904.32]
  • OSHA 300 form for the current year 2012. [1904.29]
  • Permit-Required Confined Space Program and copies of any entry permits issued in the last 3 months. [1910.146(d)]
  • Bin Entry Procedures and copies of any entry permits issued in the last 3 months. [1910.272(g)]
  • Flat Storage Structures Entry Procedures. [1910.272(h)]
  • Fall Protection Program. [1910.23]
  • Housekeeping Program. [1910.272(j)]
  • Hot Work Permit Program and copies of any hot work permits issued in the last 3 months. [1910.272(f)]
  • Emergency Action Plan. [1910.272(d) and 1910.38(a)]
  • Training Records for the employees at the facility for the past year. [1910.272(e)]
  • Personal Protective Equipment hazard selection and equipment selection. [1910.132(d)]
  • Lockout/Tagout Program. [1910.147(c)(1) and 191.272(m)(4)]
  • Procedures of the use of Sweep Augers. [1910.272(g)(1)(ii)]
  • Preventive Maintenance Procedures. [1910.272(m)(1)]
  • Certification records for the inspections conducted under your Preventive Maintenance Program. [1910.272(m)(3)]
  • Powered Industrial Truck training. [1910.178(l)]
  • Certification records of Powered Industrial Truck training. [1910.178(l)(6)]
  • Plot Plan Map
Need Help? The Grain and Feed Association of Illinois (GFAI) and the Asmark Institute have partnered to provide a series of high-quality, hands-on training to the personnel within the agricultural industry who handle grain. Two courses in the new series are offered at the new Agricenter training complex located in Bloomington, Illinois. John Lee, Director of Safety, Health & Environmental Services for GFAI, will be the lead instructor for the new courses. Welcome to the Grain Industry is a basic one-day course geared to the needs of employees new to the grain industry and will cover OSHA's grain handling standard along with demonstrations and scenarios designed to reinforce the message of safety. Safe Grain Handling Operations is a two-day course that immerses the participant in an environment that is as close to real as possible. This intermediate course is designed for experienced grain handling personnel and uses a variety of demonstrations, equipment and scenarios to exercise the participant's existing capacity to reflect on the safety issues they have encountered and engages them to apply their knowledge and skills to find workable solutions. Click here for more information.
262 Workplaces Inspected Since April: Focus is Temporary Workers
In a recent webinar hosted by the American Staffing Association, Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA and other key OSHA staff members provided additional insight on the enforcement and outreach initiatives being used to ensure temporary workers are protected from workplace hazards. One message that came through loud and clear is that temporary workers are entitled to the same safety and health protections as direct-hire employees and both employers are responsible for complying with all relevant OSHA safety and health requirements.
According to Thomas Galassi, Director, OSHA Directorate of Enforcement Programs, the field instruction sent April 29th that highlighted the importance of protecting temporary workers, has resulted in 262 inspections that have been or are being conducted identifying temporary workers exposed to safety and health violations. Thus far, 270 violations have been cited at workplaces where temporary workers are present. However, some of the 262 inspections are still open, so this data continues to mature.
The most frequent violations found at workplaces where temporary workers are identified include:
  • Electrical hazards
  • Hazards requiring lockout/tagout protections
  • Machine Guarding
  • Fall Protection
  • Hazard Communication
  • Powered Industrial Trucks
OSHA has concerns that:
  • Some employers may use temporary workers as a way to avoid meeting all their compliance obligations under the OSH Act and other worker protection laws.
  • Temporary workers get placed in a variety of jobs, including the most hazardous jobs.
  • Temporary workers are more vulnerable to workplace safety and health hazards and retaliation than workers in traditional employment relationships.
  • Temporary workers are often not given adequate safety and health training or explanations of their duties by either the temporary staffing agency or the host employer.
If your company utilizes temporary employees, it is essential to comply with all relevant OSHA requirements.
Recording Batch Codes Clarified
We recently received clarification in the form of a statement developed by EPA in response to a number of inquiries about the batch code requirements. There appears to be some confusion about the requirements for recording batch codes by bulk repackaging facilities. Nancy Fitz with EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs provided the following statement designed to provide clarification.
This statement focuses on pesticide repackagers, which are pesticide producing establishments that are repackaging a pesticide under contract with the registrant. These facilities must comply with the repackaging requirements in 40 CFR 165.70 in the pesticide container-containment regulations. (They may also be subject to the containment regulations in 40 CFR 165.80 - 165.97.) Because repackaging pesticides is defined as pesticide production, these establishments must also comply with the regulations on the Registration of Pesticide and Active Ingredient Producing Establishments, Submission of Pesticide Reports in 40 CFR Part 167 and the Books and Records of Pesticide Production and Distribution regulations in 40 CFR Part 169.
There are two separate requirements in these regulations that address batch codes. First, §169.2 requires producers - including repackagers - to maintain records of the product name, EPA Registration Number, amounts per batch and batch identification. Second, §156.140(a) from the pesticide container (label) regulations requires the batch code to be on the label or container for nonrefillable containers. This is not a requirement for refillable containers.
While each refillable container must be marked in a durable and clearly visible manner with a serial number or other identifying code that will distinguish the individual container from all other containers (40 CFR 165.45(d)), this is not the same as a batch code. The repackaging regulations require refillers to record three pieces of information each time a pesticide is repackaged into a refillable container: (1) the EPA Registration Number of the pesticide; (2) the date of repackaging; and (3) the serial number or other identifying code of the container. These records must be kept for three years.
Therefore, a pesticide producing establishment that is repackaging a pesticide under contract with the registrant is required to keep batch codes in their production records. EPA does not specify the specific format of a batch code or lot code associated with production and the records associated with that production. However, the batch code is NOT required to be marked on the label or container of a stationary refillable (bulk) container or a portable refillable container.
See below for the relevant regulatory text from 40 CFR 156.140(a)(4), 169.1(b) and 169.2(a):
  • §156.140 Identification of container types. For products other than plant-incorporated protectants, the following statements, as applicable, must be placed on the label or container. The information may be located on any part of the container except the closure. If the statements are placed on the container, they must be durably marked on the container. Durable marking includes, but is not limited to etching, embossing, ink jetting, stamping, heat stamping, mechanically attaching a plate, molding, or marking with durable ink.
  • Nonrefillable container. For nonrefillable containers, the statements in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(4) of this section are required except as provided in paragraphs (a)(5), (c), (d) and (e) of this section. ... (4) Batch code. A lot number, or other code used by the registrant or producer to identify the batch of the pesticide product which is distributed and sold.
  • Refillable container. For refillable containers, one of the following statements is required except as provided in paragraphs (c), (d) and (e) of this section. ... (1) "Refillable Container. Refill this container with pesticide only. Do not reuse this container for any other purpose."
  • (2) "Refillable Container. Refill this container with [common chemical name] only. Do not reuse this container for any other purpose."
  • §169.1 Definitions. ... (b) Batch. The term "batch" means a quantity of a pesticide product or active ingredient used in producing a pesticide made in one operation or lot or if made in a continuous or semi-continuous process or cycle, the quantity produced during an interval of time to be specified by the producer.
  • §169.2 Maintenance of records. All producers of pesticides, devices, or active ingredients used in producing pesticides subject to this Act, including pesticides produced pursuant to an experimental use permit and pesticides, devices, and pesticide active ingredients produced for export, shall maintain the following records: (a) Records showing the product name, EPA Registration Number, Experimental Permit Number if the pesticide is produced under an Experimental Use Permit, amounts per batch and batch identification (numbers, letters, etc.) of all pesticides produced. In cases where the product is an active ingredient used in producing a pesticide or where the product is a pesticide which is not registered, is not the subject of an application for registration, or is not produced under an Experimental Use Permit, the records shall also show the complete formula. The batch identification shall appear on all production control records. These records shall be retained for a period of two (2) years.
Take Time to Review Your Eyewash Unit
About 15% of all workplace eye injuries result in temporary or permanent vision loss according to OSHA. When the eyes come in contact with dangerous or irritating chemicals, flushing them immediately with emergency eyewash is the single most effective way to remove harmful substances and to ensure the best possible outcome. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z358.1-2009 standard for emergency eyewash and shower equipment calls for eyewash to be present at the site of any hazardous material that can cause adverse effects on an individual's health and safety. To determine whether your worksite requires emergency eyewash, conduct a thorough walkthrough to assess the tasks performed and their related hazards. If flying objects, splashing chemicals, harmful vapors or liquids, or heavy dust are potential hazards, eyewash is likely required. ANSI calls for primary eyewash to be available within a 10-second walk of harmful materials and for the eyes to undergo a continuous 15-minute flush with the fluid temperature ranging between 60℉ and 100℉. Since an injured worker's vision will likely be impaired, the travel path must be free of obstructions and on the same level as the hazard, and the eyewash area should be clearly marked and well lit. In the case of corrosive chemicals such as strong caustics and strong acids, eyewash should be placed adjacent to the hazard. In addition, primary eyewash units must require only one hand to activate, including any dust cover. Fostering increased familiarity with eyewash stations in advance will serve your company well in the case of an eye injury.
Historic Agricultural Data Now Online
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) simplified access to historic data by putting 77 years' worth of agricultural statistics online. In the past, this information, published in the annual bulletin Agricultural Statistics, was available in print form only. For instance, did you know ... In 1933, hybrid corn seeds made up only one-tenth of 1 percent of the national crop. Within ten years, that proportion reached 50%, and by 1956, more than 90% of the national corn crop was from hybrid seeds ... or that Iowa harvested 2.36 billion bushels of corn in 2011, more than the entire U.S. corn harvest of 1935 ... or that once staples of American farms, horse and mule populations fell from 18.7 million in 1930 to 3.1 million in 1960, after which the statistic was discontinued. Click here to visit the NASS website.
Hours of Service Case Finally Decided
A federal appeals court has decided to allow most of DOT's new hours-of-service (HOS) rules to stand. In a highly anticipated opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied petitions from both the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and Public Citizen. The groups dragged DOT to court to force the agency to withdraw the truck driver hours-of-service rules it issued in December 2011. The rules came into full effect on July 1, 2013.
The court said the only portion of the new rules that cannot stand is the requirement for short-haul drivers - those who work locally and return home every day - to take a 30-minute rest break every 8 hours. After hearing three HOS cases over the past decade, the court decided that the contentious issues that remain are "highly technical points best left to the agency."
Short Haul
The "small exception" in the case is a new rule in 49 CFR §395.3 requiring all interstate drivers of property-carrying vehicles to take a 30-minute rest break at least every 8 hours. The court decided to vacate the application of that rule to short-haul drivers, stating that the DOT failed to justify it. In its opinion issued August 2, 2013, the court left intact the rest-break requirement for long-haul drivers and all other provisions of the current HOS rules, including new restrictions on use of the 34-hour "restart" option.
The 30-minute break continues to be a point of confusion for many - one month after the HOS rule implemented, questions still posed on practical application. The revised federal hours-of-service rules went into effect on July 1, 2013. Based on the variety of questions posed since the changes to the HOS rules, it appears that many within the transportation industry still desire clarity on the 30-minute break requirement.
The following is a summary of the more frequently asked questions on the topic.
Applicability
Q: Do oilfield drivers need the 30-minute break?
A: Yes. Drivers using either of the oilfield exceptions in Sec. 395.1(d) are required to comply with the 30-minute rest-break requirement. Drivers eligible for the "waiting time" exception (305.1(d)(2)) can use off-duty waiting time as their break.
Q: Do hazmat drivers need to take the mandatory break?
A: Yes. Drivers hauling hazardous materials are subject to the requirement for a mandatory 30-minute break, and it must be spent "off duty" unless transporting Division 1.1, 1.2 or 1.3 explosives. Drivers transporting these explosives must remain "on duty" at all times while "attending" the load (see Sec. 397.5), so they are allowed to show their mandatory breaks as "on duty" as long as they enter a remark on the log to designate a 30-minute period as their break. No other work (other than attending to the load) can be performed during the break. Other hazmat drivers who are required to attend their loads while operating on public highways under Sec. 397.5 must be allowed to go "off duty" for their breaks.
Q: If a driver won't be driving after the 8th hour, does he or she need a break?
A: No, not under the federal HOS rules. The rules only restrict drivers from driving a property-carrying CMV after 8 hours without a break. If a driver will be working but not driving a CMV after 8 hours, then no break is required.
Requirements
Q: Does a driver need a 30-minute break every 8 hours of driving?
A: The 8 hours are consecutive hours, so they include driving and all other time (including any breaks that are less than 30 minutes). The new rule says you have to stop driving CMVs once you reach 8 consecutive hours past the end of your last break of at least 30 consecutive minutes.
Q: Might some drivers need more than one break each day?
A: Yes. Drivers who work long days or who take the 30-minute break too early, may need two or more breaks in one day. For example, a driver who takes the break after the first hour of the day and who has another 9 hours of driving ahead will need a second break within 8 hours after the end of the first break. The longer the work day, the more likely a second break could be needed (especially if the first break is taken too early).
Recordkeeping
Q: How do you log the 30-minute break?
A: To be counted as a valid break (for compliance with the 8-hour/30-minute rule), it must be logged "off-duty" or "sleeper berth." Any time that must be logged as "on duty" based on the definition of "on duty time" in section 395.2 cannot count as a valid break (except in the case of certain drivers transporting explosives who must "attend" the cargo and can use attendance time as their break). In general, to be "off-duty" the driver must be free of all obligations and responsibilities and free to leave the premises. Note that any kind of "off-duty" or "sleeper berth" time will satisfy the rule. For example, a lunch break, a 10-hour break, time spent resting in a sleeper berth (even if used for the "split sleeper" option), or time spent resting in a parked vehicle, will satisfy the break requirement in most cases. The key is that drivers must be relieved of all duty and responsibility and be free to walk away from the vehicle and cargo for the duration of the break.
Q: How does the 30-minute break affect the 14-hour rule?
A: The 30-minute break must be spent "off-duty" and/or in a sleeper berth, but no matter how it is spent it must be counted as part of the driver's 14-hour allowance. The driver does not get 14 hours of on-duty time in addition to the 30-minute break. It takes 30 minutes out of the driver's 14 available hours. The breaks will not extend the 14-hour window.
Transition Begins to New Area Code in Western Kentucky
Area code 364 is being added to the same geographic area as the current area code 270 in March 2014. August 3rd marked the start of a six-month "permissive dialing" period during which customers will be able to dial either seven or 10 digits when making local calls in area code 270. Mandatory 10-digit-dialing of local calls begins February 1, 2014. Area code 364 was created in December 2012 when the PSC decided that the best way to meet the need for more telephone numbers in area code 270 was through the creation of an overlay, which superimposes a new area code over an existing area code. Dialing 1 for local calls will not be necessary under any circumstance and local calls will not become long-distance calls. The first numbers using area code 364 may be assigned beginning March 3, 2014. Area code 270 numbers can be assigned after that date, but their availability will depend on how many remain in the inventory of each individual service provider.
Most Quotable: "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson, one of America's Founding Fathers, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States. He was a spokesman for democracy and the rights of man with worldwide influence.
2013 Asmark Institute, Inc. This information is believed to be reliable by the Asmark Institute, however, because of constantly changing government regulations, interpretations and applicability or the possibility of human, mechanical or computer error, the Asmark Institute does not guarantee the information as suitable for any particular purpose.