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Newsletter
Volume 156
October 1, 2016
OSHA AG-30 Course Topics
Introduction to OSHA
Safety and Health Programs
Hazard Communication (GHS)
Lockout / Tagout
Electrical
Hand & Power Tools
Powered Industrial Trucks
Materials Handling
Walking and Working Surfaces
Fall Protection
Exit Routes
Emergency Action Plans
Fire Prevention Plans
Fire Extinguishers
Confined Spaces
Compressed Gases
Welding, Cutting and Brazing
Respiratory Protection
Personal Protective Equipment
Process Safety Management
Recordkeeping
Machine Guarding
Industrial Hygiene
Hazardous Materials
Anhydrous Ammonia
HazWoper
Bloodborne Pathogens
Grain Handling
Hearing Conservation
Ergonomics
Register Today!
New OSHA AG-30 Course - Reserve your seat today!
Understanding OSHA's requirements will save your company money - but more importantly, it will reduce the number of injuries and it may even save lives. This training has been developed specifically for agribusiness and is designed for facility managers or assistant managers, safety and health coordinators, EHS staff and personnel with responsibilities for safety and health at the facility. We encourage at least one person per facility receive this training.
Brian Miller with Miller Risk Management will serve as the lead instructor. Brian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this course. This training is recognized by OSHA, and upon successful completion participants will receive a "30-Hour" training card from OSHA and a certificate from the Asmark Institute. The new OSHA Ag-30 course kicks off in November at the Ford West Center for Responsible Agriculture, so sign up today to reserve the class of your choice. Click here for more information or to register.
Court Decision on Process Safety Management Setback for OSHA - Opportunity for Retailers
The D.C. Court of Appeals last week ruled OSHA violated the OSH Act when it issued an enforcement memorandum on July 22, 2015, effectively rescinding the "retail facility" exemption. The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) filed the suit to provide relief from the initial six month deadline the OSHA memo required for compliance. Because OSHA rescinded the retailer exemption without requesting public comment, the agency provided a procedural angle for ARA and TFI to file suit.
While this is a setback for OSHA, it is an opportunity for retailers to use this extra time wisely to continue to make mechanical integrity upgrades to their facilities, draw their P&IDs, develop their PSM programs and get in the practice of complying with PSM. We continue to recommend our clients develop their PSM programs with the goal of substantial compliance, especially related to mechanical integrity. OSHA has several options available to rebound on this subject. We are following this issue closely and will update you as we know more in the coming weeks. Our plans are to support our clients as they continue to develop their PSM programs in preparation for the rule, however we plan to hold off on filing their program 3 RMPs with EPA until a firm deadline has been published by both OSHA and EPA. Click here to access the OSHA docket and follow this issue.
P&ID Service a Big Hit!
For those retailers that are not clients of the Asmark Institute, help is available to assist in drawing the Piping and Instrumentation Diagram or "P&ID" for short. The availability of providers to draw the P&IDs is very limited. The Asmark Institute is offering this special service as a national resource center to assist all retailers in developing their Process Safety Management (PSM) program. A P&ID is a diagram (not a site plan) that visually represents the equipment and piping present in an installation identified as a PSM-regulated process. Graphic symbols are used to denote the appropriate equipment and piping. The P&ID is one of the first elements of your process safety information that should be completed, as it plays an integral part in developing other requirements of PSM such as Mechanical Integrity, Process Hazard Analysis and the Operating Procedures.
How can we help?
The Asmark Institute provides a professional service that creates detailed and accurate:
  • P&ID (Includes a Key and Schedule)
  • Block Flow Diagram
How does it work?
  • Take pictures of your installation following the instructions carefully.
  • We draw the draft version of your P&ID and Block Flow Diagram and send you a proof to review and approve.
  • Proof your diagrams and send us any revisions that are necessary.
  • We make the revisions as appropriate and send you the final diagrams.
This new service launched in December and will be available for a limited time via the Compass section of the Asmark Institute website. Go to: www.asmark.org/Compass. For more information, check out the website or contact Nick Clements at nick.clements@asmark.org or by phone at 270-926-4600, Ext 212 or 506.
DHS Releases CSAT Version 2.0 - Act Now
Beginning October 1st, DHS will be notifying facilities (those already tiered and all others) to submit an updated Top-Screen through the new Chemical Security Assessment tool (CSAT) Version 2.0. This phased-in process will give facilities 60 days from the receipt of their notification to complete and submit a new Top- Screen. The complete roll-out of the new Top-Screen tool is expected to take a year.
The new Top-Screen changes only how DHS collects and analyzes submitted information. The Chemicals of Interest (COI) list, reporting quantities and concentrations are not changing at this time. We recommend that you log into your CSAT account and make sure they have the most recent contact information on file for your facility. Then check your Letters Awaiting Acknowledgement to make sure you haven't been notified and required to resubmit already.
How to Comply
Even facilities that were previously determined not to be high risk will be asked to submit a new Top-Screen. Facilities may choose to proactively go ahead and resubmit a Top-Screen prior to being notified. For the new CSAT Top-Screen Instructions, click here. The Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA) and Site Security Plan (SSP) applications have also been revised. DHS expects updated documents for these to be available publicly later this fall.
Note: The Asmark Institute has updated our CFATS "How to Comply" guidance document for the new Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Top-Screen tool. The guidance document will provide step-by-step instructions and is designed to assist retailers with the CFATS process, requiring the review of Appendix A and submittal of the new Top-Screen assessment to DHS. Each Asmark Institute client will receive a copy of the guidance in their mail in about 3 weeks. A copy of the report will also be available in PDF format on our website.
CFATS Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) 2.0 Demonstration
DHS has invited the regulated community to participate in a series of webinars and in-person presentations for the new CSAT 2.0. These demonstrations are designed to walk users through the revised CSAT portal user interface and streamlined Top-Screen, SVA and SSP surveys being released this fall. CSAT 2.0 is expected to improve a facility's experience when submitting surveys and dramatically decrease the burden on facilities. Additionally, it will collect the data necessary to process facilities through an improved tiering methodology, which is also being deployed this fall. The next webinar sessions:
Live Demonstrations: In addition to observing the new CSAT 2.0 tool through a live demonstration, attendees will have an opportunity to hear CFATS updates, participate in a Question & Answer session, and interact with Chemical Security Inspectors. Dates and meeting locations for some cities are still being finalized. Please continue to check https://www.dhs.gov/cfats-tiering-methodology for the latest updates and registration links.
All demonstrations will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time.
October 25, 2016
October 27, 2016
November 15, 2016
November 17, 2016
December 13, 2016
December 15, 2016
To be determined
To be determined
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • New Jersey (city to be determined)
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Houston, Texas
  • San Francisco, California
  • Portland, Oregon
Please email CFATS@hq.dhs.gov with any questions. For assistance with your CSAT account, please email csat@hq.dhs.gov.
OSHA Final Rule On Walking & Working Surfaces, Personal Fall Protection Systems
Nearly two decades in the making, OSHA still plans to release its final rule on Walking and Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems in 2016. The new proposed rule replaces the initial proposed rule from 1990 and the former proposed rule in 2010. To date, there has never been a General Industry final rule for Walking and Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems, although requirements do already exist specifically for the Construction and Shipyard industries.
The current General Industry standards recognize physical barriers and guardrails as the main restraint used to prevent falls. The new proposed rule recognizes the advantage of adding personal fall protection and arrest systems to further protect employees. It also recognizes updated national consensus standards and industry practices; that is, improved technology and extensive testing that has resulted in advanced PPE. Appendices to the rule will be added to provide employers with examples of procedures and test methods used by personal protection equipment manufacturers to prove compliance with PPE criteria.
The new final rule will make updates to Subparts D and I in the General Industry 29 CFR Part 1910 standards. OSHA is publishing proposed rules for subpart D, Walking and Working Surfaces and subpart I, Personal Protective Equipment for Fall Protection concurrently. The estimated annual cost to incorporate the new standards is $173.2 million.
ANSI Updates Fall Protection Standard
The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) recently announced that the standard for fall protection has been updated. Industries use the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z359.1 Fall Protection Standard to help guide the use of fall protection to protect workers. Recognizing that the current 10-year standard was dated, the Z359 Committee that oversees the standard's development created new sub-standards that address:
  • Fall restraint systems,
  • Work positioning systems,
  • Rope access systems,
  • Fall arrest systems, and
  • Rescue systems.
The Fall Protection Code encompasses standards for personal fall protection systems that incorporate a full body harness, intended to protect the user against falls from height. The new standard provides guidance to systems that prevent a free fall over systems that arrest a free fall. That means the proper selection and use of service of connectors, full body harnesses, lanyards, energy absorbers, anchorage connectors, fall arresters, vertical lifelines and self-retracting lanyards, comprising personal fall protection systems for users within the capacity range of 130-310 pounds. The new standard will go into effect beginning in January 2017.
Passing Your Family Business to Your Heirs? Better Act Now!
New U.S. Treasury regulations poised to go into effect in early 2017 would eliminate the tax incentive allowing inter-family transfers of businesses to be taxed at a far lower rate than the company's true value. This means if you own your business and are hoping to leave it to your family, the time to transfer ownership is this year or else face a substantial tax bite.
Comments Due to USEPA This Week on Atrazine Assessment
Please send comments to USEPA on the re-registration of atrazine as they are due by October 4, 2016. It is simple to do by following the steps below. Without public input on this issue, our industry could lose a valuable crop protection product for unjustified reasons. Submit your comments to USEPA online by going to https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0266. Follow these instructions:
  1. Go to the site called "Atrazine Registration Review" and click on the blue "Comments Now" button to the right of the docket title "Draft Ecological Risk Assessments: Atrazine, Simazine and Propazine Registration Review."
  2. You can type or upload a document with your comments.
  3. Click on the "Continue" button, review your comments, check the box that says "I understand the statement above" and press "Submit Comments."
Comments are due by October 4, 2016, so don't delay. It would be great to have a substantial number of comments submitted from actual users of this product, including ag retailers and farmers--public comments can make a difference in a regulatory outcome.
It's Time to Register With ResponsibleAg
More than 2,200 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with 315 facilities already receiving their certification. We encourage you to register your facilities today and support the program. The explosion of the West, Texas retail facility in April 2013 marked a low point in the public and regulatory agencies perception of the fertilizer industry. The industry was criticized for not having an organized effort to assist retail dealers in understanding and complying with existing federal regulations. Help is in place now. For more information and to register, go to: www.responsibleag.org
Become a ResponsibleAg Auditor or Attend to Learn More....
We are seeing several organizations credential one or more of their employees to perform their own audits. Many others are signing up for the training to become contract auditors or to learn firsthand about ResponsibleAg - they want to see how it works - so they will be ready for their audit. More than 160 people have already participated in the training, with more than 88 choosing to become credentialed by ResponsibleAg. To become a ResponsibleAg auditor, the first step is to attend the training. Registration is open and two classes are offered per year. Reserve your space in the February 2017 class. Click here to register.
ARA Issues Call to Action
DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is accepting public comments on a proposed pilot program to allow a limited number of individuals between the ages of 18 to 21 to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce if they have received specified heavy-vehicle driver training while in military service and are sponsored by a participating motor carrier. During the 3-year pilot program, the safety records of these younger drivers (the study group) would be compared to the records of a control group of comparable size, comprised of drivers who are 21 years of age or older and who have comparable training and experience in driving vehicles requiring a commercial driver's license (CDL). This proposal included section 5404 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which was signed into law (P.L. 114-94) on December 4, 2015.
The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) supports this pilot program and would like for FMCSA to initiate another one for short-haul drivers between the ages of 18 to 21 transporting farm supplies and agricultural products within a 150 air-mile radius. We believe a larger pool of eligible drivers to participate in these types of pilot programs will provide FMCSA with improved safety data that is more statistically valid. ARA encouraged members to submit comments to the agency in support of this important pilot program and request they initiate another pilot program for short haul graduated drivers, as well as collect driver safety data from all states during the duration of the pilot program for drivers between the ages of 18 to 21 with CDL's operating a CMV intrastate.
Indiana State Chemist Restructures Seed Division to Better Monitor Compliance
The Office of Indiana State Chemist (OISC) at Purdue University has restructured its seed section so it can more effectively determine seed marketers' compliance with Indiana law through product inspection and testing. Don Robison, who has been hired as the OISC's new seed administrator, has 30 years of experience in the seed and fertilizer business in Indiana, Missouri and Colorado. He replaces Larry Nees, who retired after 41 years at the OISC, 39 as seed administrator. Jessica McVay has been promoted to seed laboratory coordinator. She is a Purdue graduate who has been with the OISC since 2012. Prior to her newly appointed role, McVay attained the technical title of registered seed technologist based on her experience and passing two national seed testing examinations. In addition to seed laboratory coordinator, McVay serves as the OISC feed microscopist, also a technical position.
Update: DOT-OSHA Hazard Communication Labels for Vessels in Transportation
For over a year, The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has been working with OSHA and DOT on a number of questions pertaining to a guidance memorandum issued by OSHA. Part of their efforts pertain to vessels in transportation. These efforts have led to a long-awaited joint DOT-OSHA guidance memorandum that was just finalized earlier this week by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and OSHA. TFI believes the guidance memorandum successfully resolves the pending questions and concerns related to vessels in transportation. It is our understanding that OSHA does not intend to update its prior guidance as it pertains to vessels in transportation, but this joint guidance memorandum supersedes the 2012 guidance document as it pertains to vessels in transportation.
What It Means: You can display complete OSHA Hazard Communication labels/pictograms on vessels in transportation as long as they do not interfere with other DOT labels/placards required by DOT. For example, complete OSHA Hazard Communication labels on valves is acceptable. But displaying a part of the OSHA Hazard Communication pictogram next to a hazardous materials placard could be confusing to responders and may not be permissible. When in transportation, you do not have to display any OSHA Hazard Communication labels. Per the joint guidance memorandum, "OSHA's Hazard Communication 2012 labeling is not required on shipping containers in transport, even when DOT's Hazardous Materials Regulation does not require labeling in transportation."
What is Required: For bulk shipments of hazardous chemicals, OSHA's Hazard Communication 2012 standard requires either labeling the immediate container with hazard information or transmitting the required label with shipping papers, bills of lading, or by other technological or electronic means so that it is immediately available to workers in printed form on the receiving end of a shipment. Click here to review the joint guidance memorandum.
DOT Proposes Speed Limiters for Large Commercial Vehicles
DOT has issued a long-awaited proposal to require new heavy-duty vehicles to be equipped with speed limiting devices. Once finalized, the rule will also require a maximum speed setting for the devices. The proposal discusses the benefits of setting that speed at 60, 65 and 68 miles per hour, but other speeds will be considered based on public input according to DOT. The rule is a joint project with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which sets standards for vehicle manufacturers. Those standards would be amended to require all new U.S. trucks, buses and multipurpose passenger vehicles, with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds to be equipped with speed limiting devices set at a maximum speed. A retrofit requirement for existing trucks is not being proposed at this time, but the agencies are seeking public input on that issue. As proposed, the rule would give manufacturers a lead time of three years - until September 1, 2020 - to comply. The cost to manufacturers is expected to be minimal because most vehicles already have electronic engine controls that include the ability to limit the vehicle's speed.
"There are significant safety benefits to this proposed rulemaking," said DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx. "In addition to saving lives, the projected fuel and emissions savings make this proposal a win for safety, energy conservation and our environment." DOT says the rule could save more than $1 billion in fuel costs annually and have up to $5 billion in overall net benefits, outweighing the annual cost of delayed shipments, estimated at between $209 million and $1.6 billion depending on the speed setting.
Under the proposal, motor carriers operating commercial vehicles in interstate commerce would be responsible for maintaining the speed limiting devices at or below the designated speed for the service life of the vehicle. Once the proposal is published in the Federal Register, the public will be invited to submit comments at Federal eRulemaking Portal under docket number FMCSA-2014-0083.
Entry-Level Driver Training Rule at OMB
On August 29, 2016, DOT's entry-level driver training final rule arrived at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. This is one of the final steps that must be taken prior to publication in the Federal Register. The final rule, the result of a negotiated rulemaking process, is expected to be based on consensus recommendations made by a committee comprised of a cross-section of motor carrier interests. The committee met for several work sessions in early 2015. A proposed regulation was released in March 2016. The final rule is expected to require training of interstate and intrastate drivers obtaining their first CDL, upgrading their CDL, or obtaining a hazardous materials, passenger, or school bus endorsement. The rulemaking is expected to require both classroom and behind-the-wheel (range and public road) training, conducted by providers that meet certain criteria and are listed on a DOT provider registry. OMB's review of the final rule is expected to take up to 90 days.
EPA Weighs In On Glyphosate, Says It Likely Doesn't Cause Cancer
No chemical used by farmers, it seems, gets more attention than glyphosate, also known by its trade name, Roundup. That's mainly because it is a cornerstone of the shift to genetically modified crops, many of which have been modified to tolerate glyphosate. Glyphosate had been considered among the safest of herbicides. So it was a shock to many, last year, when the International Agency for Research on Cancer announced that this chemical is probably carcinogenic. Since that announcement, however, others have looked at the same collection of data and come to contrary conclusions. The European Food Safety Agency convened a group of experts who concluded that glyphosate probably does not cause cancer, as did the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.
Legal Challenge Over Electronic Logs Rests With Judges
The fate of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate now rests in the hands of a federal appeals court in Chicago. On September 13th, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit heard oral arguments from both sides in the case of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) vs. the DOT. Now it's up to the court to decide if the ELD mandate can stand or will need to be taken back to the drawing board. Unless that challenge is successful, the rule will require most interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers to use electronic logs in place of paper logs starting in December 2017. A final decision in the case is expected by early 2017.
Red Tape Reduction
KY Red Tape Reduction Initiative Trolls for Outdated, Unnecessary Business Regulations
The number of regulations affecting business is staggering. While usually written with good intention, regulations don't always achieve their goal and some simply impose too heavy a burden in the process of regulating. To combat the current state of overregulation, Kentucky Governor Bevin has promised to identify and eliminate or revise outdated and unnecessary state regulations that hamper business growth in Kentucky. The governor announced the Red Tape Reduction Initiative, which will cut through the red tape of excessive and complex regulatory burdens that are a hardship for many business owners.
Governor Bevin is asking businesses throughout the state to assist in this effort by identifying burdensome regulations and offering suggestions for improvement. A website has been established, www.RedTapeReduction.com, to collect those ideas and suggestions for review.
"Any person who has dealt with government at any level, may well have come across a regulation that just doesn't seem to make sense. So, I invite all Kentuckians to contact us with their thoughts and ideas. We need all hands on deck to reduce the amount of government red tape in the Commonwealth," Governor Bevin said. Kentuckians were quick to take the governor up on this opportunity, as more than 500 suggestions have already poured in via www.RedTapeReduction.com.
The September edition of the Administrative Register of Kentucky contained a proposed repeal of more than 60 regulations that are unnecessary or overly burdensome including:
  • 44 regulations from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
  • 18 regulations from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
Visit www.RedTapeReduction.com to suggest a regulatory burden facing your Kentucky business today!
Clinton in Favor of WOTUS, Trump Against
Hillary Clinton has made it clear that she backs the EPA's waters of the U.S. rule, which attempts to clarify the types of water the agency can regulate under the Clean Water Act. The Democratic presidential nominee made what appears to be her first public endorsement of the controversial rule in a written statement to Farm Futures published this week. Clinton said she supports the rule and would work with all affected parties to ensure "common sense implementation." She also said she was pleased that EPA maintained in WOTUS the "long-standing exemptions for common farming practices," while creating certainty so families and businesses can rely on clean water. Donald Trump has indicated he does not support EPA's rule.
American Trucking Associations Launches New Road Sharing Video
A handy new instructional video has just been released by the American Trucking Associations (ATA). The video focuses on one of the most important road safety issues that drivers of heavy vehicles face, how to properly and safely share the road with cars. There's also plenty that other drivers could take out of this instructional video. Click here to view.
Brace Yourself for the Next UPS Rate Increase
Again this year, UPS will increase published rates in 2017. Effective December 26, 2016, the following changes will take effect:
  • Daily rates for UPS Ground service will increase an average net 4.9%.
  • Daily rates for UPS Air and International services, as well as UPS Air Freight rates within and between the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, will increase an average net 4.9%.
  • The Additional Handling charge will be assessed for UPS Air and International packages with the longest side exceeding 48 inches, instead of 60 inches.
Overall, UPS shipping rates will increase every year making it once again a great time to check out the Electronic Service Program (ESP). Click here to review the ESP program and see if it is right for you.
Federal Wage and Labor Law Poster Updates
FEDERAL POSTER***
FLSA and POLYGRAPH PROTECTION ACT (Effective date: July 2016) - The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), aka Minimum Wage, notice has been revised based on upcoming changes to the rules. Among other minor revisions are three major revisions. First, the new notice advises that nursing mothers who are subject to the overtime requirements of the FLSA be provided reasonable break time to express breast milk and a place to do so, other than a bathroom, which is shielded from view and free from intrusion by coworkers or the public. Second, the enforcement provisions have been significantly revised explaining additional penalties for violations of the law. Third, the new notice addresses the misclassification of workers as "independent contractors" when they should be considered employees under the law.
The Polygraph Protection Act notice has also been revised. There is a new QR Code and other cosmetic changes. Despite the lack of significance of these changes, the Department is deeming it a mandatory update. Projected availability: The week of August 8th. This is a substantive change and an updated Federal V2.0 poster is required.
***Note: We are working towards a huge group purchase of the federal poster to be shipped in November. Each client will receive the opportunity to opt-in to this special group purchase. The federal poster is typically $17.02 (includes shipping) and we may be able to save substantially if we place an order for all clients at one time. Watch your mail!
Earned Sick Leave (Effective date: Oct 01, 2016) - Montgomery County has released their Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law notice. Employees must accrue paid leave before accruing unpaid leave in a calendar year. This is a substantive change and a new Montgomery County poster is required. Click here to order.
Family Leave Act (Effective date: Sep 06, 2016) - The most notable changes are:
  • The FLA now also applies to government employers regardless of the number of employees
  • Coverage extends to more family members (step-parent, parent-in-law)
  • The employee must give the employer notice 30 days before taking Family Leave except when emergent circumstances require the employee to begin Family leave sooner, in which case the employee should give the employer as much notice as possible.
Other non-substantial changes include the removal of the Toll-Free phone number. This is a substantive change and an updated New Jersey poster is required. Click here to order.
2016 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.
OSHA AG-30 Course Topics
Introduction to OSHA
Safety and Health Programs
Hazard Communication (GHS)
Lockout / Tagout
Electrical
Hand & Power Tools
Powered Industrial Trucks
Materials Handling
Walking and Working Surfaces
Fall Protection
Exit Routes
Emergency Action Plans
Fire Prevention Plans
Fire Extinguishers
Confined Spaces
Compressed Gases
Welding, Cutting and Brazing
Respiratory Protection
Personal Protective Equipment
Process Safety Management
Recordkeeping
Machine Guarding
Industrial Hygiene
Hazardous Materials
Anhydrous Ammonia
HazWoper
Bloodborne Pathogens
Grain Handling
Hearing Conservation
Ergonomics
Register Today!
New OSHA AG-30 Course - Reserve your seat today!
Understanding OSHA's requirements will save your company money - but more importantly, it will reduce the number of injuries and it may even save lives. This training has been developed specifically for agribusiness and is designed for facility managers or assistant managers, safety and health coordinators, EHS staff and personnel with responsibilities for safety and health at the facility. We encourage at least one person per facility receive this training.
Brian Miller with Miller Risk Management will serve as the lead instructor. Brian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this course. This training is recognized by OSHA, and upon successful completion participants will receive a "30-Hour" training card from OSHA and a certificate from the Asmark Institute. The new OSHA Ag-30 course kicks off in November at the Ford West Center for Responsible Agriculture, so sign up today to reserve the class of your choice. Click here for more information or to register.
Court Decision on Process Safety Management Setback for OSHA - Opportunity for Retailers
The D.C. Court of Appeals last week ruled OSHA violated the OSH Act when it issued an enforcement memorandum on July 22, 2015, effectively rescinding the "retail facility" exemption. The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) filed the suit to provide relief from the initial six month deadline the OSHA memo required for compliance. Because OSHA rescinded the retailer exemption without requesting public comment, the agency provided a procedural angle for ARA and TFI to file suit.
While this is a setback for OSHA, it is an opportunity for retailers to use this extra time wisely to continue to make mechanical integrity upgrades to their facilities, draw their P&IDs, develop their PSM programs and get in the practice of complying with PSM. We continue to recommend our clients develop their PSM programs with the goal of substantial compliance, especially related to mechanical integrity. OSHA has several options available to rebound on this subject. We are following this issue closely and will update you as we know more in the coming weeks. Our plans are to support our clients as they continue to develop their PSM programs in preparation for the rule, however we plan to hold off on filing their program 3 RMPs with EPA until a firm deadline has been published by both OSHA and EPA. Click here to access the OSHA docket and follow this issue.
P&ID Service a Big Hit!
For those retailers that are not clients of the Asmark Institute, help is available to assist in drawing the Piping and Instrumentation Diagram or "P&ID" for short. The availability of providers to draw the P&IDs is very limited. The Asmark Institute is offering this special service as a national resource center to assist all retailers in developing their Process Safety Management (PSM) program. A P&ID is a diagram (not a site plan) that visually represents the equipment and piping present in an installation identified as a PSM-regulated process. Graphic symbols are used to denote the appropriate equipment and piping. The P&ID is one of the first elements of your process safety information that should be completed, as it plays an integral part in developing other requirements of PSM such as Mechanical Integrity, Process Hazard Analysis and the Operating Procedures.
How can we help?
The Asmark Institute provides a professional service that creates detailed and accurate:
  • P&ID (Includes a Key and Schedule)
  • Block Flow Diagram
How does it work?
  • Take pictures of your installation following the instructions carefully.
  • We draw the draft version of your P&ID and Block Flow Diagram and send you a proof to review and approve.
  • Proof your diagrams and send us any revisions that are necessary.
  • We make the revisions as appropriate and send you the final diagrams.
This new service launched in December and will be available for a limited time via the Compass section of the Asmark Institute website. Go to: www.asmark.org/Compass. For more information, check out the website or contact Nick Clements at nick.clements@asmark.org or by phone at 270-926-4600, Ext 212 or 506.
DHS Releases CSAT Version 2.0 - Act Now
Beginning October 1st, DHS will be notifying facilities (those already tiered and all others) to submit an updated Top-Screen through the new Chemical Security Assessment tool (CSAT) Version 2.0. This phased-in process will give facilities 60 days from the receipt of their notification to complete and submit a new Top- Screen. The complete roll-out of the new Top-Screen tool is expected to take a year.
The new Top-Screen changes only how DHS collects and analyzes submitted information. The Chemicals of Interest (COI) list, reporting quantities and concentrations are not changing at this time. We recommend that you log into your CSAT account and make sure they have the most recent contact information on file for your facility. Then check your Letters Awaiting Acknowledgement to make sure you haven't been notified and required to resubmit already.
How to Comply
Even facilities that were previously determined not to be high risk will be asked to submit a new Top-Screen. Facilities may choose to proactively go ahead and resubmit a Top-Screen prior to being notified. For the new CSAT Top-Screen Instructions, click here. The Security Vulnerability Assessment (SVA) and Site Security Plan (SSP) applications have also been revised. DHS expects updated documents for these to be available publicly later this fall.
Note: The Asmark Institute has updated our CFATS "How to Comply" guidance document for the new Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Top-Screen tool. The guidance document will provide step-by-step instructions and is designed to assist retailers with the CFATS process, requiring the review of Appendix A and submittal of the new Top-Screen assessment to DHS. Each Asmark Institute client will receive a copy of the guidance in their mail in about 3 weeks. A copy of the report will also be available in PDF format on our website.
CFATS Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT) 2.0 Demonstration
DHS has invited the regulated community to participate in a series of webinars and in-person presentations for the new CSAT 2.0. These demonstrations are designed to walk users through the revised CSAT portal user interface and streamlined Top-Screen, SVA and SSP surveys being released this fall. CSAT 2.0 is expected to improve a facility's experience when submitting surveys and dramatically decrease the burden on facilities. Additionally, it will collect the data necessary to process facilities through an improved tiering methodology, which is also being deployed this fall. The next webinar sessions:
Live Demonstrations: In addition to observing the new CSAT 2.0 tool through a live demonstration, attendees will have an opportunity to hear CFATS updates, participate in a Question & Answer session, and interact with Chemical Security Inspectors. Dates and meeting locations for some cities are still being finalized. Please continue to check https://www.dhs.gov/cfats-tiering-methodology for the latest updates and registration links.
All demonstrations will take place from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time.
October 25, 2016
October 27, 2016
November 15, 2016
November 17, 2016
December 13, 2016
December 15, 2016
To be determined
To be determined
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tampa, Florida
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • New Jersey (city to be determined)
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Houston, Texas
  • San Francisco, California
  • Portland, Oregon
Please email CFATS@hq.dhs.gov with any questions. For assistance with your CSAT account, please email csat@hq.dhs.gov.
OSHA Final Rule On Walking & Working Surfaces, Personal Fall Protection Systems
Nearly two decades in the making, OSHA still plans to release its final rule on Walking and Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems in 2016. The new proposed rule replaces the initial proposed rule from 1990 and the former proposed rule in 2010. To date, there has never been a General Industry final rule for Walking and Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems, although requirements do already exist specifically for the Construction and Shipyard industries.
The current General Industry standards recognize physical barriers and guardrails as the main restraint used to prevent falls. The new proposed rule recognizes the advantage of adding personal fall protection and arrest systems to further protect employees. It also recognizes updated national consensus standards and industry practices; that is, improved technology and extensive testing that has resulted in advanced PPE. Appendices to the rule will be added to provide employers with examples of procedures and test methods used by personal protection equipment manufacturers to prove compliance with PPE criteria.
The new final rule will make updates to Subparts D and I in the General Industry 29 CFR Part 1910 standards. OSHA is publishing proposed rules for subpart D, Walking and Working Surfaces and subpart I, Personal Protective Equipment for Fall Protection concurrently. The estimated annual cost to incorporate the new standards is $173.2 million.
ANSI Updates Fall Protection Standard
The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) recently announced that the standard for fall protection has been updated. Industries use the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z359.1 Fall Protection Standard to help guide the use of fall protection to protect workers. Recognizing that the current 10-year standard was dated, the Z359 Committee that oversees the standard's development created new sub-standards that address:
  • Fall restraint systems,
  • Work positioning systems,
  • Rope access systems,
  • Fall arrest systems, and
  • Rescue systems.
The Fall Protection Code encompasses standards for personal fall protection systems that incorporate a full body harness, intended to protect the user against falls from height. The new standard provides guidance to systems that prevent a free fall over systems that arrest a free fall. That means the proper selection and use of service of connectors, full body harnesses, lanyards, energy absorbers, anchorage connectors, fall arresters, vertical lifelines and self-retracting lanyards, comprising personal fall protection systems for users within the capacity range of 130-310 pounds. The new standard will go into effect beginning in January 2017.
Passing Your Family Business to Your Heirs? Better Act Now!
New U.S. Treasury regulations poised to go into effect in early 2017 would eliminate the tax incentive allowing inter-family transfers of businesses to be taxed at a far lower rate than the company's true value. This means if you own your business and are hoping to leave it to your family, the time to transfer ownership is this year or else face a substantial tax bite.
Comments Due to USEPA This Week on Atrazine Assessment
Please send comments to USEPA on the re-registration of atrazine as they are due by October 4, 2016. It is simple to do by following the steps below. Without public input on this issue, our industry could lose a valuable crop protection product for unjustified reasons. Submit your comments to USEPA online by going to https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2013-0266. Follow these instructions:
  1. Go to the site called "Atrazine Registration Review" and click on the blue "Comments Now" button to the right of the docket title "Draft Ecological Risk Assessments: Atrazine, Simazine and Propazine Registration Review."
  2. You can type or upload a document with your comments.
  3. Click on the "Continue" button, review your comments, check the box that says "I understand the statement above" and press "Submit Comments."
Comments are due by October 4, 2016, so don't delay. It would be great to have a substantial number of comments submitted from actual users of this product, including ag retailers and farmers--public comments can make a difference in a regulatory outcome.
It's Time to Register With ResponsibleAg
More than 2,200 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with 315 facilities already receiving their certification. We encourage you to register your facilities today and support the program. The explosion of the West, Texas retail facility in April 2013 marked a low point in the public and regulatory agencies perception of the fertilizer industry. The industry was criticized for not having an organized effort to assist retail dealers in understanding and complying with existing federal regulations. Help is in place now. For more information and to register, go to: www.responsibleag.org
Become a ResponsibleAg Auditor or Attend to Learn More....
We are seeing several organizations credential one or more of their employees to perform their own audits. Many others are signing up for the training to become contract auditors or to learn firsthand about ResponsibleAg - they want to see how it works - so they will be ready for their audit. More than 160 people have already participated in the training, with more than 88 choosing to become credentialed by ResponsibleAg. To become a ResponsibleAg auditor, the first step is to attend the training. Registration is open and two classes are offered per year. Reserve your space in the February 2017 class. Click here to register.
ARA Issues Call to Action
DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is accepting public comments on a proposed pilot program to allow a limited number of individuals between the ages of 18 to 21 to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce if they have received specified heavy-vehicle driver training while in military service and are sponsored by a participating motor carrier. During the 3-year pilot program, the safety records of these younger drivers (the study group) would be compared to the records of a control group of comparable size, comprised of drivers who are 21 years of age or older and who have comparable training and experience in driving vehicles requiring a commercial driver's license (CDL). This proposal included section 5404 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which was signed into law (P.L. 114-94) on December 4, 2015.
The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) supports this pilot program and would like for FMCSA to initiate another one for short-haul drivers between the ages of 18 to 21 transporting farm supplies and agricultural products within a 150 air-mile radius. We believe a larger pool of eligible drivers to participate in these types of pilot programs will provide FMCSA with improved safety data that is more statistically valid. ARA encouraged members to submit comments to the agency in support of this important pilot program and request they initiate another pilot program for short haul graduated drivers, as well as collect driver safety data from all states during the duration of the pilot program for drivers between the ages of 18 to 21 with CDL's operating a CMV intrastate.
Indiana State Chemist Restructures Seed Division to Better Monitor Compliance
The Office of Indiana State Chemist (OISC) at Purdue University has restructured its seed section so it can more effectively determine seed marketers' compliance with Indiana law through product inspection and testing. Don Robison, who has been hired as the OISC's new seed administrator, has 30 years of experience in the seed and fertilizer business in Indiana, Missouri and Colorado. He replaces Larry Nees, who retired after 41 years at the OISC, 39 as seed administrator. Jessica McVay has been promoted to seed laboratory coordinator. She is a Purdue graduate who has been with the OISC since 2012. Prior to her newly appointed role, McVay attained the technical title of registered seed technologist based on her experience and passing two national seed testing examinations. In addition to seed laboratory coordinator, McVay serves as the OISC feed microscopist, also a technical position.
Update: DOT-OSHA Hazard Communication Labels for Vessels in Transportation
For over a year, The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) has been working with OSHA and DOT on a number of questions pertaining to a guidance memorandum issued by OSHA. Part of their efforts pertain to vessels in transportation. These efforts have led to a long-awaited joint DOT-OSHA guidance memorandum that was just finalized earlier this week by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and OSHA. TFI believes the guidance memorandum successfully resolves the pending questions and concerns related to vessels in transportation. It is our understanding that OSHA does not intend to update its prior guidance as it pertains to vessels in transportation, but this joint guidance memorandum supersedes the 2012 guidance document as it pertains to vessels in transportation.
What It Means: You can display complete OSHA Hazard Communication labels/pictograms on vessels in transportation as long as they do not interfere with other DOT labels/placards required by DOT. For example, complete OSHA Hazard Communication labels on valves is acceptable. But displaying a part of the OSHA Hazard Communication pictogram next to a hazardous materials placard could be confusing to responders and may not be permissible. When in transportation, you do not have to display any OSHA Hazard Communication labels. Per the joint guidance memorandum, "OSHA's Hazard Communication 2012 labeling is not required on shipping containers in transport, even when DOT's Hazardous Materials Regulation does not require labeling in transportation."
What is Required: For bulk shipments of hazardous chemicals, OSHA's Hazard Communication 2012 standard requires either labeling the immediate container with hazard information or transmitting the required label with shipping papers, bills of lading, or by other technological or electronic means so that it is immediately available to workers in printed form on the receiving end of a shipment. Click here to review the joint guidance memorandum.
DOT Proposes Speed Limiters for Large Commercial Vehicles
DOT has issued a long-awaited proposal to require new heavy-duty vehicles to be equipped with speed limiting devices. Once finalized, the rule will also require a maximum speed setting for the devices. The proposal discusses the benefits of setting that speed at 60, 65 and 68 miles per hour, but other speeds will be considered based on public input according to DOT. The rule is a joint project with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which sets standards for vehicle manufacturers. Those standards would be amended to require all new U.S. trucks, buses and multipurpose passenger vehicles, with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds to be equipped with speed limiting devices set at a maximum speed. A retrofit requirement for existing trucks is not being proposed at this time, but the agencies are seeking public input on that issue. As proposed, the rule would give manufacturers a lead time of three years - until September 1, 2020 - to comply. The cost to manufacturers is expected to be minimal because most vehicles already have electronic engine controls that include the ability to limit the vehicle's speed.
"There are significant safety benefits to this proposed rulemaking," said DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx. "In addition to saving lives, the projected fuel and emissions savings make this proposal a win for safety, energy conservation and our environment." DOT says the rule could save more than $1 billion in fuel costs annually and have up to $5 billion in overall net benefits, outweighing the annual cost of delayed shipments, estimated at between $209 million and $1.6 billion depending on the speed setting.
Under the proposal, motor carriers operating commercial vehicles in interstate commerce would be responsible for maintaining the speed limiting devices at or below the designated speed for the service life of the vehicle. Once the proposal is published in the Federal Register, the public will be invited to submit comments at Federal eRulemaking Portal under docket number FMCSA-2014-0083.
Entry-Level Driver Training Rule at OMB
On August 29, 2016, DOT's entry-level driver training final rule arrived at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. This is one of the final steps that must be taken prior to publication in the Federal Register. The final rule, the result of a negotiated rulemaking process, is expected to be based on consensus recommendations made by a committee comprised of a cross-section of motor carrier interests. The committee met for several work sessions in early 2015. A proposed regulation was released in March 2016. The final rule is expected to require training of interstate and intrastate drivers obtaining their first CDL, upgrading their CDL, or obtaining a hazardous materials, passenger, or school bus endorsement. The rulemaking is expected to require both classroom and behind-the-wheel (range and public road) training, conducted by providers that meet certain criteria and are listed on a DOT provider registry. OMB's review of the final rule is expected to take up to 90 days.
EPA Weighs In On Glyphosate, Says It Likely Doesn't Cause Cancer
No chemical used by farmers, it seems, gets more attention than glyphosate, also known by its trade name, Roundup. That's mainly because it is a cornerstone of the shift to genetically modified crops, many of which have been modified to tolerate glyphosate. Glyphosate had been considered among the safest of herbicides. So it was a shock to many, last year, when the International Agency for Research on Cancer announced that this chemical is probably carcinogenic. Since that announcement, however, others have looked at the same collection of data and come to contrary conclusions. The European Food Safety Agency convened a group of experts who concluded that glyphosate probably does not cause cancer, as did the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.
Legal Challenge Over Electronic Logs Rests With Judges
The fate of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate now rests in the hands of a federal appeals court in Chicago. On September 13th, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit heard oral arguments from both sides in the case of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) vs. the DOT. Now it's up to the court to decide if the ELD mandate can stand or will need to be taken back to the drawing board. Unless that challenge is successful, the rule will require most interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers to use electronic logs in place of paper logs starting in December 2017. A final decision in the case is expected by early 2017.
Red Tape Reduction
KY Red Tape Reduction Initiative Trolls for Outdated, Unnecessary Business Regulations
The number of regulations affecting business is staggering. While usually written with good intention, regulations don't always achieve their goal and some simply impose too heavy a burden in the process of regulating. To combat the current state of overregulation, Kentucky Governor Bevin has promised to identify and eliminate or revise outdated and unnecessary state regulations that hamper business growth in Kentucky. The governor announced the Red Tape Reduction Initiative, which will cut through the red tape of excessive and complex regulatory burdens that are a hardship for many business owners.
Governor Bevin is asking businesses throughout the state to assist in this effort by identifying burdensome regulations and offering suggestions for improvement. A website has been established, www.RedTapeReduction.com, to collect those ideas and suggestions for review.
"Any person who has dealt with government at any level, may well have come across a regulation that just doesn't seem to make sense. So, I invite all Kentuckians to contact us with their thoughts and ideas. We need all hands on deck to reduce the amount of government red tape in the Commonwealth," Governor Bevin said. Kentuckians were quick to take the governor up on this opportunity, as more than 500 suggestions have already poured in via www.RedTapeReduction.com.
The September edition of the Administrative Register of Kentucky contained a proposed repeal of more than 60 regulations that are unnecessary or overly burdensome including:
  • 44 regulations from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
  • 18 regulations from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
Visit www.RedTapeReduction.com to suggest a regulatory burden facing your Kentucky business today!
Clinton in Favor of WOTUS, Trump Against
Hillary Clinton has made it clear that she backs the EPA's waters of the U.S. rule, which attempts to clarify the types of water the agency can regulate under the Clean Water Act. The Democratic presidential nominee made what appears to be her first public endorsement of the controversial rule in a written statement to Farm Futures published this week. Clinton said she supports the rule and would work with all affected parties to ensure "common sense implementation." She also said she was pleased that EPA maintained in WOTUS the "long-standing exemptions for common farming practices," while creating certainty so families and businesses can rely on clean water. Donald Trump has indicated he does not support EPA's rule.
American Trucking Associations Launches New Road Sharing Video
A handy new instructional video has just been released by the American Trucking Associations (ATA). The video focuses on one of the most important road safety issues that drivers of heavy vehicles face, how to properly and safely share the road with cars. There's also plenty that other drivers could take out of this instructional video. Click here to view.
Brace Yourself for the Next UPS Rate Increase
Again this year, UPS will increase published rates in 2017. Effective December 26, 2016, the following changes will take effect:
  • Daily rates for UPS Ground service will increase an average net 4.9%.
  • Daily rates for UPS Air and International services, as well as UPS Air Freight rates within and between the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, will increase an average net 4.9%.
  • The Additional Handling charge will be assessed for UPS Air and International packages with the longest side exceeding 48 inches, instead of 60 inches.
Overall, UPS shipping rates will increase every year making it once again a great time to check out the Electronic Service Program (ESP). Click here to review the ESP program and see if it is right for you.
Federal Wage and Labor Law Poster Updates
FEDERAL POSTER***
FLSA and POLYGRAPH PROTECTION ACT (Effective date: July 2016) - The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), aka Minimum Wage, notice has been revised based on upcoming changes to the rules. Among other minor revisions are three major revisions. First, the new notice advises that nursing mothers who are subject to the overtime requirements of the FLSA be provided reasonable break time to express breast milk and a place to do so, other than a bathroom, which is shielded from view and free from intrusion by coworkers or the public. Second, the enforcement provisions have been significantly revised explaining additional penalties for violations of the law. Third, the new notice addresses the misclassification of workers as "independent contractors" when they should be considered employees under the law.
The Polygraph Protection Act notice has also been revised. There is a new QR Code and other cosmetic changes. Despite the lack of significance of these changes, the Department is deeming it a mandatory update. Projected availability: The week of August 8th. This is a substantive change and an updated Federal V2.0 poster is required.
***Note: We are working towards a huge group purchase of the federal poster to be shipped in November. Each client will receive the opportunity to opt-in to this special group purchase. The federal poster is typically $17.02 (includes shipping) and we may be able to save substantially if we place an order for all clients at one time. Watch your mail!
Earned Sick Leave (Effective date: Oct 01, 2016) - Montgomery County has released their Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law notice. Employees must accrue paid leave before accruing unpaid leave in a calendar year. This is a substantive change and a new Montgomery County poster is required. Click here to order.
Family Leave Act (Effective date: Sep 06, 2016) - The most notable changes are:
  • The FLA now also applies to government employers regardless of the number of employees
  • Coverage extends to more family members (step-parent, parent-in-law)
  • The employee must give the employer notice 30 days before taking Family Leave except when emergent circumstances require the employee to begin Family leave sooner, in which case the employee should give the employer as much notice as possible.
Other non-substantial changes include the removal of the Toll-Free phone number. This is a substantive change and an updated New Jersey poster is required. Click here to order.
2016 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.