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Newsletter
Volume 129
August 1, 2014
CPS Donation Will Benefit All Retailers
Crop Production Services recently donated a retired retail farm center in Owensboro to the Asmark Institute to be used as a national training and education center. Among the programs planned for the new facility will be the training of auditors to implement ResponsibleAg, an industry-led effort to assist agricultural retailers more effectively comply with federal environment, health, safety and security regulations. "Crop Production Services is very proud to build on our longstanding partnership with Asmark and help ResponsibleAg get off to a strong start," said Tom Warner, Agrium's President, North America Retail. Warner said, "ResponsibleAg is one of our industry's highest priorities and there is no better way to get the program underway than through a state-of-the-art facility and with the leadership of the Asmark Institute."
Renovations at the new center will be completed this fall and include a classroom and computer lab, along with the typical equipment and simulated operations found at ag retail locations. All of this will help prepare auditors and other agribusiness professionals to conduct onsite assessments as part of the ResponsibleAg program. "Thanks to the generosity of CPS, we will have a facility unlike any other in the nation that will make it possible to expedite personnel training exponentially," said Allen Summers, President of the Asmark Institute. Summers said, "This facility is a major step towards providing better training that will benefit small and large retailers alike, and ultimately the communities they serve."
Centennial Ag Supply Honored with National Environmental Respect Award
Our congratulations to the entire team at Centennial Ag Supply of Yuma, Colorado for being honored as the National Environmental Respect Award winner for 2014. Eric Johnson, Manager of the Yuma location, was on hand at a special ceremony to accept the trophy representing excellence in environmental stewardship. The Environmental Respect Awards, sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection and conducted by CropLife magazine, are the agricultural industry's highest recognition for environmental stewardship among U.S. agricultural retailers. Each year, a panel of industry experts gathers to recognize achievements in environmental stewardship, professional excellence and community involvement. Centennial Ag Supply's Kersey facility won the award in 2013 making Centennial the first organization to win two years in a row. "This is amazing," said Regional Manager Jake Adler, accepting the crystal trophy. "I just can't believe it. Thank you." Congratulations team Centennial Ag!
Ceres Solutions Making a Difference
Ceres Solutions Safety Initiative Making a Difference
"We insist on a culture where simple safety practices become second nature during the work day," says Phil Pirtle, Safety Manager for Ceres Solution. He has worked in risk management and emergency response for almost three decades and is proud of the positive steps Ceres Solutions employees are taking on the job to better protect themselves and their co-workers. One close call is one too many. That's the philosophy behind his decision to partner with regional supplier CHS on a summer safety initiative. Pirtle initiated a campaign called Be Safe; Be Seen 2014, which is instrumental in getting high-visibility safety vests into the hands of all Ceres Solutions employees. The vests are worn in areas where traffic and moving equipment could put employee safety at risk. "This fall Ceres Solutions will have almost 400 staff members working beside farmers to get work done. Equipment will be moving fast, people will be in a hurry and we will all be pushing to get work done. That's just exactly the environment where people are tempted to cut corners or work past the point where they are too tired. When alertness goes down, accidents happen." With the funding provided from the grant, Pirtle ordered hundreds of Class II High Visibility vests from the Asmark Institute. The vests are now mandatory in certain work situations. CHS has committed more than $3 million to a national agriculture safety initiative intended to keep the next generations safe as they strive to feed the world. "We are thankful to work in agriculture, and thankful to be backed by committed partners like CHS," said Pirtle.
State Association Executives Participate in ResponsibleAg Workshop
ResponsibleAg Workshop
Front Row (Left to right): Mary Hartney, Florida Fertilizer & Agrichemical Association; Ashley Foree, AgriBusiness Association of Kentucky.
Back Row (Left to right): Tim Cansler, ResponsibleAg Executive Director; Jean Payne, Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association; Donnie Dippel, Texas Ag Industries Association; Mike Watkins, South Carolina Fertilizer & Agrichemical Association; Ewa Oller, Asmark Institute.
On July 30th, the Asmark Institute in conjunction with Billy Pirkle, Chairman of the ResponsibleAg Board, and Tim Cansler, ResponsibleAg Executive Director, welcomed State Association Executives from around the country to participate in a one-day ResponsibleAg workshop in Owensboro, Kentucky. The workshop was very successful in providing the state associations with an overview of the program's registration and audit process, website features, audit content and preview of the auditor course agenda. Participants also had a chance to tour the facility that will serve as the new training center for ResponsibleAg auditors. There will be a second meeting for State Association Executives held in Owensboro, Kentucky on August 7th. The State Associations are important to the success of ResponsibleAg, by providing a valuable resource to their members who will be asked to be a part of this important initiative.
2014 National Safety School - Register Today!
The 36th annual National Agronomic, Environmental, Health & Safety School will be held on August 19 & 20, 2014 in Bloomington, Illinois at the Asmark Institute Agricenter. This year's school is filling up fast! An outstanding lineup of national speakers has been secured, and with the recent events affecting our industry, it is now more important than ever to attend. Topics include information on the impact of the West Fertilizer incident on our industry, the future of ammonium nitrate, containment structure integrity, new revisions to the Worker Protection Standards and an update on the ResponsibleAg initiative. For further information, to view the agenda and to register, click here.
While in Bloomington that week, we recommend you stay an extra day to attend the Midwest AG Industries Expo (MAGIE) on August 20 & 21, 2014. It's truly one of the finest displays of "ride and buy" shows in the United States. For more information on registering for MAGIE, click here.
CAV: Safety on the Road Video Progressing
Work continues on the new Custom Application Vehicle (CAV): Safety on the Road video that is to be released at the end of the year. Progress is on track as over half of the footage has been gathered. This year's video has been one of the most challenging video shoots to date, with many of the scenes needing filmed with action on the road. We have added some GoPro cameras to help with this and the film is turning out to be more creative than ever. Special thanks go to the suppliers Ohio Valley Ag, Altorfer Inc and Jenner Sales Corp for their time and support. So far we have a good mix of red, yellow and green equipment, but are still looking for other manufacturers and farm centers to help out to have a good representation of different kinds of machines. If interested in being part of the filming process, please contact Dustin Warder at 270-926-4600 ext. 203 or dustin@asmark.org.
EPA Seeking Comments on RMP, PSM, Adding Regulated Products
In response to Executive Order 13650, EPA is requesting comments on potential revisions to its Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations and related programs. In this Request for Information (RFI), EPA is asking for information and data on specific regulatory elements and process safety management approaches, the public and environmental health and safety risks they address and the costs and burdens they may entail. EPA will use the information received in response to this RFI to inform what action, if any, it may take. EPA is specifically asking for comments related to the following subjects:
  • Update the List of Regulated Substances
  • Adding Other Toxic or Flammable Substances
  • Adding High and/or Low Explosives
  • Adding Ammonium Nitrate
  • Adding Reactive Substances and Reactivity Hazards
  • Adding Other Categories of Substances
  • Removing Certain Substances From the List or Raising Their Threshold Quantity
  • Lowering the Threshold Quantity for Substances Currently on the List
  • Additional Risk Management Program Elements
  • Define and Require Evaluation of Updates to Applicable Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices
  • Extend Mechanical Integrity Requirements To Cover Any Safety-Critical Equipment
  • Require Owners and Operators To Manage Organizational Changes
  • Require Third-Party Compliance Audits
  • Effects of OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) Coverage on RMP Applicability
  • Safer Technology and Alternatives Analysis
  • Emergency Drills To Test a Source's Emergency Response Program or Plan
  • Automated Detection and Monitoring for Releases of Regulated Substances
  • Additional Stationary Source Location Requirements
  • Compliance With Emergency Response Program Requirements in Coordination With Local Responders
  • Incident Investigation and Accident History Requirements
  • Worst Case Release Scenario Quantity Requirements for Processes Involving Numerous Small Vessels Stored Together
  • Public Disclosure of Information To Promote Regulatory Compliance and Improve Community Understanding of Chemical Risks
  • Threshold Quantities and Off-Site Consequence Analysis Endpoints for Regulated Substances Based on Acute Exposure Guideline Level Toxicity Values
  • Program 3 NAICS Codes Based on RMP Accident History Data
  • The "Safety Case" Regulatory Model
  • Streamlining RMP Requirements
Note: We recommend you review this RFI closely and consider providing comments. Comments must be received on or before October 29, 2014. Submit comments identified by docket EPA-HQ-OEM-2014-0328 online at http://www.regulations.gov, or by mail to OSWER Docket, EPA Docket Center, Mail Code 2822-1T, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OEM-2014-0328. Please include two copies of your comments. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Click here to review the RFI.
ARA Backs STARS Act
"Due to the seasonal nature of the agriculture industry, crop input suppliers across the country have been left in a whirlwind of confusion in their efforts to maintain compliance within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) framework while meeting staffing needs during the busiest times of the year," said Jeff Sands, Director of Public Policy for the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA). The "Simplifying Technical Aspects Regarding Seasonality (STARS) Act of 2014" would define "seasonal employee" as a worker employed on a seasonal basis for a minimal number of months or less during a calendar year, consistent with current Department of Treasury regulations. The STARS Act would also simplify the methods seasonal employers would use to determine business size and whether they are required to comply with the ACA Employer Mandate. For questions or more information, please contact ARA Director of Public Policy, Jeff Sands, at jeff@aradc.org.
Company Cited by OSHA in Bleed-off Tank Incident
Following the death of a truck driver at a facility in Nebraska, OSHA has cited the company for 12 serious safety violations. The driver, who was not provided a respirator or personal protective clothing, was overcome by anhydrous ammonia vapors while transferring the liquid from a semitruck to bulk storage tanks. The worker later died at the hospital from complications related to the ammonia inhalation. Three other workers were injured. On March 20th, a 250-gallon water-bleeder tank ruptured, releasing anhydrous ammonia into the atmosphere and exposing the driver to an ammonia vapor cloud. A second employee walked into the cloud and was treated and released from a local medical facility. An employee of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, who was performing maintenance on the adjacent railroad tracks, and a deputy sheriff responding to the scene, were also exposed, requiring medical evaluation.
OSHA cited the company with 12 serious violations. Several violations involved OSHA's Storage and Handling of Anhydrous Ammonia Standards, such as failing to provide an ammonia control system; provide employees with chemically impervious clothing; inspect and maintain ammonia equipment and piping to prevent potential leaks and system failure; and develop and train workers in an emergency response plan. The company was cited for storing the chemical in tanks located within 100 feet of a mainline railroad track. Other violations involved respiratory protection standards, such as failing to ensure self-contained breathing apparatus and atmospheric monitoring equipment were provided and used for response to an emergency, as well as for failing to medically evaluate and fit test workers required to use respirators. OSHA has proposed penalties of $62,101. Before this inspection, the company was previously cited by OSHA twice in 2011, resulting in the issuance of eight citations. The company has contested the citations and requested a hearing before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA Cites Failure to Protect Workers
A January 20th structural collapse at an Omaha-facility was caused by overloading nine storage bins on the building's roof level, according to an investigation by OSHA. The collapse at the livestock feed supplement manufacturer caused the death of two workers and injuries to nine others. As a result, OSHA has cited the company with one willful, one repeat and 11 additional safety violations for failing to protect workers from hazards associated with structural collapse. "The company's decision to overload these bins directly led to the deaths of these two workers and the injuries sustained by nine other employees," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.
OSHA has proposed penalties of $120,560 and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program after its investigation into the collapse. Click here to review the current citations.
EPA Rethinks "Temporary Grain Storage" Status
After a five-year industry push led by the National Grain & Feed Association (NGFA) to get EPA to change its mind, the agency said July 9th it's rethinking how it uses temporary grain storage facilities in calculating when such facilities must obtain permits under the agency's new source performance standards (NSPS). EPA said it will take into account only about a third of temporary storage capacity since it is "now aware that temporary storage typically handles the grain less time throughout the year than other types of permanent storage facilities and may require different treatment." NGFA said it's pleased with the agency decision. The last time EPA reviewed the NSPS process for grain storage facilities was in 1984, said NGFA, a period when temporary facilities were rare. Under NSPS requirements, commercial elevators with capacity exceeding 2.5 million bushels and built post-1978 must meet stricter air permitting and emission standards. This applies to facilities modified since 1978 to expand capacity to more than 2.5 million bushels. Also required to get permits are facilities with capacity of 1 million bushels if they're located at wheat flour mills, wet or dry corn mills (human food products), rice mills or soybean processing facilities. Grain handling facilities at feed mills, pet food plants, cereal manufacturing facilities, breweries and feedlots are not covered by the NSPS permitting process.
State Labor Law Poster Update
Michigan - Minimum Wage - Effective Presumably in September 2014
Michigan has passed a law increasing the minimum wage over the next few years. The wages will be as follows:
  • Beginning September 1, 2014, $8.15
  • Beginning January 1, 2016, $8.50
  • Beginning January 1, 2017, $8.90
  • Beginning January 1, 2018, $9.25
Every January beginning in January 2019, the state treasurer shall adjust the minimum wage by an amount determined by the state treasurer. This is a material substantive change and a new, Michigan All-In-One poster is required. Click here to order.
Most Quoteworthy
"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing," by Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States.
2014 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.
CPS Donation Will Benefit All Retailers
Crop Production Services recently donated a retired retail farm center in Owensboro to the Asmark Institute to be used as a national training and education center. Among the programs planned for the new facility will be the training of auditors to implement ResponsibleAg, an industry-led effort to assist agricultural retailers more effectively comply with federal environment, health, safety and security regulations. "Crop Production Services is very proud to build on our longstanding partnership with Asmark and help ResponsibleAg get off to a strong start," said Tom Warner, Agrium's President, North America Retail. Warner said, "ResponsibleAg is one of our industry's highest priorities and there is no better way to get the program underway than through a state-of-the-art facility and with the leadership of the Asmark Institute."
Renovations at the new center will be completed this fall and include a classroom and computer lab, along with the typical equipment and simulated operations found at ag retail locations. All of this will help prepare auditors and other agribusiness professionals to conduct onsite assessments as part of the ResponsibleAg program. "Thanks to the generosity of CPS, we will have a facility unlike any other in the nation that will make it possible to expedite personnel training exponentially," said Allen Summers, President of the Asmark Institute. Summers said, "This facility is a major step towards providing better training that will benefit small and large retailers alike, and ultimately the communities they serve."
Centennial Ag Supply Honored with National Environmental Respect Award
Our congratulations to the entire team at Centennial Ag Supply of Yuma, Colorado for being honored as the National Environmental Respect Award winner for 2014. Eric Johnson, Manager of the Yuma location, was on hand at a special ceremony to accept the trophy representing excellence in environmental stewardship. The Environmental Respect Awards, sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection and conducted by CropLife magazine, are the agricultural industry's highest recognition for environmental stewardship among U.S. agricultural retailers. Each year, a panel of industry experts gathers to recognize achievements in environmental stewardship, professional excellence and community involvement. Centennial Ag Supply's Kersey facility won the award in 2013 making Centennial the first organization to win two years in a row. "This is amazing," said Regional Manager Jake Adler, accepting the crystal trophy. "I just can't believe it. Thank you." Congratulations team Centennial Ag!
Ceres Solutions Making a Difference
Ceres Solutions Safety Initiative Making a Difference
"We insist on a culture where simple safety practices become second nature during the work day," says Phil Pirtle, Safety Manager for Ceres Solution. He has worked in risk management and emergency response for almost three decades and is proud of the positive steps Ceres Solutions employees are taking on the job to better protect themselves and their co-workers. One close call is one too many. That's the philosophy behind his decision to partner with regional supplier CHS on a summer safety initiative. Pirtle initiated a campaign called Be Safe; Be Seen 2014, which is instrumental in getting high-visibility safety vests into the hands of all Ceres Solutions employees. The vests are worn in areas where traffic and moving equipment could put employee safety at risk. "This fall Ceres Solutions will have almost 400 staff members working beside farmers to get work done. Equipment will be moving fast, people will be in a hurry and we will all be pushing to get work done. That's just exactly the environment where people are tempted to cut corners or work past the point where they are too tired. When alertness goes down, accidents happen." With the funding provided from the grant, Pirtle ordered hundreds of Class II High Visibility vests from the Asmark Institute. The vests are now mandatory in certain work situations. CHS has committed more than $3 million to a national agriculture safety initiative intended to keep the next generations safe as they strive to feed the world. "We are thankful to work in agriculture, and thankful to be backed by committed partners like CHS," said Pirtle.
State Association Executives Participate in ResponsibleAg Workshop
ResponsibleAg Workshop
Front Row (Left to right): Mary Hartney, Florida Fertilizer & Agrichemical Association; Ashley Foree, AgriBusiness Association of Kentucky.
Back Row (Left to right): Tim Cansler, ResponsibleAg Executive Director; Jean Payne, Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association; Donnie Dippel, Texas Ag Industries Association; Mike Watkins, South Carolina Fertilizer & Agrichemical Association; Ewa Oller, Asmark Institute.
On July 30th, the Asmark Institute in conjunction with Billy Pirkle, Chairman of the ResponsibleAg Board, and Tim Cansler, ResponsibleAg Executive Director, welcomed State Association Executives from around the country to participate in a one-day ResponsibleAg workshop in Owensboro, Kentucky. The workshop was very successful in providing the state associations with an overview of the program's registration and audit process, website features, audit content and preview of the auditor course agenda. Participants also had a chance to tour the facility that will serve as the new training center for ResponsibleAg auditors. There will be a second meeting for State Association Executives held in Owensboro, Kentucky on August 7th. The State Associations are important to the success of ResponsibleAg, by providing a valuable resource to their members who will be asked to be a part of this important initiative.
2014 National Safety School - Register Today!
The 36th annual National Agronomic, Environmental, Health & Safety School will be held on August 19 & 20, 2014 in Bloomington, Illinois at the Asmark Institute Agricenter. This year's school is filling up fast! An outstanding lineup of national speakers has been secured, and with the recent events affecting our industry, it is now more important than ever to attend. Topics include information on the impact of the West Fertilizer incident on our industry, the future of ammonium nitrate, containment structure integrity, new revisions to the Worker Protection Standards and an update on the ResponsibleAg initiative. For further information, to view the agenda and to register, click here.
While in Bloomington that week, we recommend you stay an extra day to attend the Midwest AG Industries Expo (MAGIE) on August 20 & 21, 2014. It's truly one of the finest displays of "ride and buy" shows in the United States. For more information on registering for MAGIE, click here.
CAV: Safety on the Road Video Progressing
Work continues on the new Custom Application Vehicle (CAV): Safety on the Road video that is to be released at the end of the year. Progress is on track as over half of the footage has been gathered. This year's video has been one of the most challenging video shoots to date, with many of the scenes needing filmed with action on the road. We have added some GoPro cameras to help with this and the film is turning out to be more creative than ever. Special thanks go to the suppliers Ohio Valley Ag, Altorfer Inc and Jenner Sales Corp for their time and support. So far we have a good mix of red, yellow and green equipment, but are still looking for other manufacturers and farm centers to help out to have a good representation of different kinds of machines. If interested in being part of the filming process, please contact Dustin Warder at 270-926-4600 ext. 203 or dustin@asmark.org.
EPA Seeking Comments on RMP, PSM, Adding Regulated Products
In response to Executive Order 13650, EPA is requesting comments on potential revisions to its Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations and related programs. In this Request for Information (RFI), EPA is asking for information and data on specific regulatory elements and process safety management approaches, the public and environmental health and safety risks they address and the costs and burdens they may entail. EPA will use the information received in response to this RFI to inform what action, if any, it may take. EPA is specifically asking for comments related to the following subjects:
  • Update the List of Regulated Substances
  • Adding Other Toxic or Flammable Substances
  • Adding High and/or Low Explosives
  • Adding Ammonium Nitrate
  • Adding Reactive Substances and Reactivity Hazards
  • Adding Other Categories of Substances
  • Removing Certain Substances From the List or Raising Their Threshold Quantity
  • Lowering the Threshold Quantity for Substances Currently on the List
  • Additional Risk Management Program Elements
  • Define and Require Evaluation of Updates to Applicable Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices
  • Extend Mechanical Integrity Requirements To Cover Any Safety-Critical Equipment
  • Require Owners and Operators To Manage Organizational Changes
  • Require Third-Party Compliance Audits
  • Effects of OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) Coverage on RMP Applicability
  • Safer Technology and Alternatives Analysis
  • Emergency Drills To Test a Source's Emergency Response Program or Plan
  • Automated Detection and Monitoring for Releases of Regulated Substances
  • Additional Stationary Source Location Requirements
  • Compliance With Emergency Response Program Requirements in Coordination With Local Responders
  • Incident Investigation and Accident History Requirements
  • Worst Case Release Scenario Quantity Requirements for Processes Involving Numerous Small Vessels Stored Together
  • Public Disclosure of Information To Promote Regulatory Compliance and Improve Community Understanding of Chemical Risks
  • Threshold Quantities and Off-Site Consequence Analysis Endpoints for Regulated Substances Based on Acute Exposure Guideline Level Toxicity Values
  • Program 3 NAICS Codes Based on RMP Accident History Data
  • The "Safety Case" Regulatory Model
  • Streamlining RMP Requirements
Note: We recommend you review this RFI closely and consider providing comments. Comments must be received on or before October 29, 2014. Submit comments identified by docket EPA-HQ-OEM-2014-0328 online at http://www.regulations.gov, or by mail to OSWER Docket, EPA Docket Center, Mail Code 2822-1T, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OEM-2014-0328. Please include two copies of your comments. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Click here to review the RFI.
ARA Backs STARS Act
"Due to the seasonal nature of the agriculture industry, crop input suppliers across the country have been left in a whirlwind of confusion in their efforts to maintain compliance within the Affordable Care Act (ACA) framework while meeting staffing needs during the busiest times of the year," said Jeff Sands, Director of Public Policy for the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA). The "Simplifying Technical Aspects Regarding Seasonality (STARS) Act of 2014" would define "seasonal employee" as a worker employed on a seasonal basis for a minimal number of months or less during a calendar year, consistent with current Department of Treasury regulations. The STARS Act would also simplify the methods seasonal employers would use to determine business size and whether they are required to comply with the ACA Employer Mandate. For questions or more information, please contact ARA Director of Public Policy, Jeff Sands, at jeff@aradc.org.
Company Cited by OSHA in Bleed-off Tank Incident
Following the death of a truck driver at a facility in Nebraska, OSHA has cited the company for 12 serious safety violations. The driver, who was not provided a respirator or personal protective clothing, was overcome by anhydrous ammonia vapors while transferring the liquid from a semitruck to bulk storage tanks. The worker later died at the hospital from complications related to the ammonia inhalation. Three other workers were injured. On March 20th, a 250-gallon water-bleeder tank ruptured, releasing anhydrous ammonia into the atmosphere and exposing the driver to an ammonia vapor cloud. A second employee walked into the cloud and was treated and released from a local medical facility. An employee of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, who was performing maintenance on the adjacent railroad tracks, and a deputy sheriff responding to the scene, were also exposed, requiring medical evaluation.
OSHA cited the company with 12 serious violations. Several violations involved OSHA's Storage and Handling of Anhydrous Ammonia Standards, such as failing to provide an ammonia control system; provide employees with chemically impervious clothing; inspect and maintain ammonia equipment and piping to prevent potential leaks and system failure; and develop and train workers in an emergency response plan. The company was cited for storing the chemical in tanks located within 100 feet of a mainline railroad track. Other violations involved respiratory protection standards, such as failing to ensure self-contained breathing apparatus and atmospheric monitoring equipment were provided and used for response to an emergency, as well as for failing to medically evaluate and fit test workers required to use respirators. OSHA has proposed penalties of $62,101. Before this inspection, the company was previously cited by OSHA twice in 2011, resulting in the issuance of eight citations. The company has contested the citations and requested a hearing before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
OSHA Cites Failure to Protect Workers
A January 20th structural collapse at an Omaha-facility was caused by overloading nine storage bins on the building's roof level, according to an investigation by OSHA. The collapse at the livestock feed supplement manufacturer caused the death of two workers and injuries to nine others. As a result, OSHA has cited the company with one willful, one repeat and 11 additional safety violations for failing to protect workers from hazards associated with structural collapse. "The company's decision to overload these bins directly led to the deaths of these two workers and the injuries sustained by nine other employees," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.
OSHA has proposed penalties of $120,560 and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program after its investigation into the collapse. Click here to review the current citations.
EPA Rethinks "Temporary Grain Storage" Status
After a five-year industry push led by the National Grain & Feed Association (NGFA) to get EPA to change its mind, the agency said July 9th it's rethinking how it uses temporary grain storage facilities in calculating when such facilities must obtain permits under the agency's new source performance standards (NSPS). EPA said it will take into account only about a third of temporary storage capacity since it is "now aware that temporary storage typically handles the grain less time throughout the year than other types of permanent storage facilities and may require different treatment." NGFA said it's pleased with the agency decision. The last time EPA reviewed the NSPS process for grain storage facilities was in 1984, said NGFA, a period when temporary facilities were rare. Under NSPS requirements, commercial elevators with capacity exceeding 2.5 million bushels and built post-1978 must meet stricter air permitting and emission standards. This applies to facilities modified since 1978 to expand capacity to more than 2.5 million bushels. Also required to get permits are facilities with capacity of 1 million bushels if they're located at wheat flour mills, wet or dry corn mills (human food products), rice mills or soybean processing facilities. Grain handling facilities at feed mills, pet food plants, cereal manufacturing facilities, breweries and feedlots are not covered by the NSPS permitting process.
State Labor Law Poster Update
Michigan - Minimum Wage - Effective Presumably in September 2014
Michigan has passed a law increasing the minimum wage over the next few years. The wages will be as follows:
  • Beginning September 1, 2014, $8.15
  • Beginning January 1, 2016, $8.50
  • Beginning January 1, 2017, $8.90
  • Beginning January 1, 2018, $9.25
Every January beginning in January 2019, the state treasurer shall adjust the minimum wage by an amount determined by the state treasurer. This is a material substantive change and a new, Michigan All-In-One poster is required. Click here to order.
Most Quoteworthy
"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing," by Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States.
2014 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.