International Clients
Australia
Canada
South America
×
 
Main Menu
Select A Category
About Us
Hot Topics
International Clients
Resources
Training Centers
 
Back to Main Menu
Hot Topics
Consolidation Chart
Helping Your CDL Drivers...
How To Comply (CFATS)
Prepare for a DOT Audit
PSM for Ag Retailers
Restricted CDL Report
 
Back to Main Menu
International Clients
Australia
Canada
South America
 
<
 
List
 
>
Newsletter
Volume 164
July 3, 2017
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Ten acres serve as the proving grounds for this state-of-the-art training facility. A mile of all-weather track has been strategically designed to provide the most realistic hands-on driving experience possible. More than a million dollars in equipment is used to facilitate this unique learning process over the four day course. A variety of exercises reinforce the learning process and help to familiarize the participants with the basic skills required for becoming a professional operator.
Click here to experience the track via drone.
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Ride-N-Drive Challenges
Electric Lines
Left Turns
Narrow Gates
Railroad Crossings
Overgrown Entrances
Telephone Poles
Bridges
Square Corners
Uneven Fields
Steep Slopes
How to Start a Field
Attention to Booms
Waterways/Berms
Topics Covered
Importance of Professionalism
Ride-N-Drive the Fleet
Consequences of Poor Decisions
Understanding Product Labels
Field Math
Measurements
Sprayer Systems
Calibration - Liquid & Dry
Field Computers/Controllers
Agitation
New Chemistry & Challenges
Difference in Tank Additives
Drift Management Options & Strategies
Tank Cleanout
Safety on the Road
Recordkeeping
Assessing Each Field
Tabletop Scenarios
Preparation for State Applicator Test
Equipment Used in Training
AGCO RoGator 1100B
John Deere 4830
Case Patriot 4420
Hagie STS-10
AGCO 1803 TerraGator - Dry
One Mile of Ride-N-Drive Track
New Leader Dry Spreader Calibration
Dry Bed Chain Calibration
Liquid Calibration Unit
Spray Table
Field Computer/Controller Operation
Agitation Demonstration
Sprayer Tank Cleanout - Demo
Sprayer Tank Cleanout - Exercise
Sprayer System Exercise
DOT Applicator Trailer Exercise
Re-Loading/Nurse Exercise
Remote Cameras/Radio Contact
Audience Response System
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
The course curriculum is built on extensive feedback AGCO and the Asmark Institute have gathered from ag retailers and industry partners. Each course will consist of 3-1/2 days of training. Greg Yoder, an experienced applicator and retailer with years of experience, will be the lead instructor for the course. Dr. Bob Wolf, who is highly-recognized on the subject of spray drift and application echnologies, will share his expertise on day two of the course. Combined, these instructors have more than 80 years experience on the topics they will teach during the course. Register online today! Click here for more information and to register.
School for New Professional Applicators Launched
Asmark Institute and AGCO Corporation collaborated to offer a new training program dedicated to educating and developing professional applicators. The Applicator Training Center was launched on June 12th at an event that drew nearly 200 attendees. The new course will provide a comprehensive training program designed for newly hired applicators and those with up to five years of experience in liquid and dry application.
Troike Named CEO of Newly Formed Ceres Solutions Cooperative
Jeff Troike
Congratulations to Jeff Troike on being named President and CEO of the newly formed Ceres Solutions Cooperative, created from the recent merger of Ceres Solutions LLP and North Central Co-op. Ceres Solutions is a charter member of the Asmark Institute dating back to 1999 at the time it was known as Growers Cooperative. The new entity will serve energy, agronomy, animal nutrition and grain marketing needs in almost 30 Indiana counties and seven counties in Michigan. The new organization will officially begin doing business on September 1, 2017. Troike brings more than three decades of cooperative management to his role - most recently as President/CEO of Ceres Solutions LLP. Raised on a family farm in Starke County, Troike is a 1982 Purdue University graduate and current Land O'Lakes Board Member. Congratulations to Jeff and welcome to the North Central Co-op locations coming onboard.
Agri-AFC's Alec Sheffer Testifies at Senate Ag Hearing
Alec Sheffer
Agri-AFC Director of Retail Sales Alec Sheffer provided his perspective on the farm economy to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on May 25th. He appeared on behalf of the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) before the committee during a hearing titled: "Examining the Farm Economy: Perspectives on Rural America."
He joined fellow panelists Dr. Robert Johansson, Chief Economist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Dr. Nathan Kauffman, Assistant Vice President, Economist, and Omaha Branch Executive for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; and Dr. Bruce Weber, Professor Emeritus of Applied Economics and Director of Rural Studies Program at Oregon State University.
Sheffer's comments addressed declining commodity prices, increased regulatory burdens and market uncertainty, as well as press policy priorities such as tax reform, crop insurance, repeal of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System pesticide general permit requirement and review of the Waters of the United States rule. You can live stream the hearing by clicking here.
2017 National Safety School - Register Today!
The 39th annual National, Agronomic, Environmental, Health & Safety School will be held on August 22-23, 2017 in Bloomington, Illinois at the Asmark Institute Agricenter. An outstanding lineup of national speakers has been confirmed to present, and this is one you won't want to miss! This year's keynote address will be given by Chip Lerwick, Managing Director with Aon Risk Solutions. Other favorites speaking again this year will be Brian Bothast, OSHA Compliance Specialist, Tom Bray with J.J. Keller and Associates, Dr. Fred Whitford, Purdue University, Nancy Fitz with U.S. EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs and Dustin Warder, Manager of Regulatory Affairs with the Asmark Institute. Please visit the website at naehss.org for further information and to register.
Heads Up! Watch for Your Executive Summary
Lighthouse Executive Summary
Back by popular demand, this dynamic service uses logic to identify potential areas of concern specific to each manned facility. The 2017 Lighthouse Executive Summary was mailed on July 3rd and is designed to prompt the facility to action before an inspector or auditor shows up. It's about dotting your i's and crossing your t's. The result should be happier audits with less violations and penalties - and hopefully you will never make the nightly news or be referred to the Attorney General's office. Each page of the Executive Summary is dedicated to a specific subject and contains a brief explanation of the regulatory requirement and how to proceed in completing it.
Reminder: HazMat Annual Registration Expired on June 30th
If your company transports, or offers for transport, hazardous materials that require placarding by the DOT, they must be registered with the DOT. If your company registers with DOT annually, then your HazMat Registration expires on June 30th each year. If your company registers for a two or three year period, check your registration for the expiration year. A copy of the current registration must be carried in every company vehicle used to transport hazardous materials. You can register and pay the fee online at the DOT's website by clicking here.
Nurse Tank Inspection "CT" Courses
If you are interested in certifying your own employees to be able to perform nurse tank inspections, then this course is for you! Facility personnel that want to learn more about the process will also find this new hands-on Asmark Institute Signature course very beneficial. The final three classes for 2017 will be offered at the Agricenter in Bloomington, IL between July 18th and the 20th. Click here for information on the class and to register. The course is an action packed day and registration is $165 per person. Space is limited so register today.
OSHA Ag-30 Course - More Courses Posted
This very popular training 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. 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. We encourage at least one person per facility receive this training. Click here for more information or to register.
It's Time to Register With ResponsibleAg
More than 2,500 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with 557 facilities already receiving their certification. We encourage you to register your facilities today! For more information and to register, go to: www.responsibleag.org
ResponsibleAg Needs Auditors
Several organizations 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 91 choosing to become credentialed by ResponsibleAg. To become a ResponsibleAg auditor, the first step is to attend the training. Two classes are offered per year. Reserve your seat in the upcoming September class now. Click here to register.
U.S. Supreme Court Will Not Hear ELD Case
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association's (OOIDA's) bid to block the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate hit its final roadblock as the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will not hear the case. OOIDA had claimed that ELDs violate the Fourth Amendment as a warrantless search or seizure.
As a result, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruling to uphold the ELD regulations remains intact. The DOT rules for ELDs were published on December 16, 2015, with a compliance deadline of December 18, 2017. Under those rules, most drivers who currently use paper logs must use electronic logs by the December 18, 2017 deadline. Better prepare for ELDs if you are not exempt. If you don't meet one of the following exemptions, you should prepare for Electronic Logging Devices. The DOT rule only allows these limited exceptions to the ELD mandate for drivers:
  • Who operate under the short-haul exceptions. They may continue using timecards, are not required to keep records of duty status and will not be required to use ELDs;
  • Who use paper RODS for not more than 8 days out of every rolling 30-day period;
  • Who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations, in which the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered;
  • In a drive-away/tow-away operation in which the vehicle being transported is a motor home or a recreation vehicle trailer; or
  • Driving a vehicle that was manufactured before model year 2000, as reflected in the vehicle identification number as shown on the vehicle's registration.
SARA Tier 2 Hazard Categories Revised for 2018
When you file your SARA Tier 2 chemical inventory reports this coming March 2018, there will be a major change in the report. EPA has expanded the physical and health hazard categories to align with the Global Harmonization System (GHS). There are now 23 categories, up from 5 that industry is accustom to.
Asmark Institute "Lighthouse" clients can rest assured the Asmark staff is working diligently to gather and enter the new hazard category information for the 5,000+ products in the ProFiles database. This should result in our clients not seeing any difference in the SARA reporting process because the new physical and health hazard categories will automatically show up for all chemicals reportable on the Tier 2 forms.
If you are not an Asmark Institute Lighthouse client, we recommend you begin gathering the current information and updating the physical and health hazard categories for the chemicals you report. If you wait until February 2018 to do this, you may have waited too late!
Tier 2 Updates - Let the Confusion begin!
In early June, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) sent out an email to all the companies who file annual Tier 2 chemical inventory reports. The reason for the email was to let everyone know that the hazard categories for the chemicals have been expanded. The point of the email was to warn companies that it will take a while to enter the new hazard categories when you do your next Tier 2 report that must be filed by March 1, 2018. IEMA has already updated their state software and was letting everyone know that they are able to log into the Illinois website and begin updating their hazard categories. This was a recommendation, not a requirement as many people thought. If you are an Asmark Institute Lighthouse client, this will be completed for you and no action on your part is required.
Indiana to Classify Dicamba Products as RUPs
The formal Indiana state rulemaking process to classify dicamba agricultural use pesticides as state Restricted-Use Pesticides (RUPs) is now underway, according to Dave Scott, pesticide administrator for the Office of Indiana State Chemist. Scott says the state Pesticide Review Board wants to adopt a restricted use pesticide classification rule for any product with at least 6.5% dicamba.
Kansas Allows For Overweight Truck Permits
Six-axle trucks may now transport 90,000 lbs. beginning July 1, 2017 according to the Kansas Agricultural Retailers Association (KARA). Following the successful passage of House Bill 2095 this year, motor carriers with a $200 annual permit may now transport up to 90,000 lbs. on 6-axle vehicle configurations on non-interstate roads. The new law allows the transport of up to 90,000 lbs. for motor carriers transporting "agricultural products." As defined in the law, agricultural products includes "agricultural inputs, farm supplies, biofuels, feed, raw or processed agricultural commodities, livestock, raw meat products or farm products." The bill specifically states that the term agricultural products is to be construed liberally. The law becomes effective on July 1, 2017. Starting July 1, 2017, motor carriers will be able to apply for and purchase an Annual Overweight Agricultural Permit through KDOT's online permitting system, at www.k-trips.com.
OSHA Delays July 1st Electronic Reporting Date
OSHA has proposed a rule to delay the compliance date for employers to submit their injury and illness data electronically to the agency. OSHA's May 12, 2016 final rule titled "Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses," required employers to submit data from their 300-A Summaries electronically to OSHA by July 1st.
The new proposed rule would extend the initial submission deadline for 2016 Form 300-A data to December 1, 2017. OSHA says this will give them time to review the electronic reporting requirements before their implementation and allow affected employers sufficient time to familiarize themselves with the electronic reporting system. The proposed five-month delay will be effective upon publication of a final rule in the Federal Register.
According to OSHA, the web portal for employers to submit their data should be available on August 1, 2017. In addition, OSHA says it plans to issue a separate proposed rule to reconsider, revise or remove other provisions of the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses final rule. The agency will seek comment on those provisions in the separate proposal. OSHA will accept comments on the current proposed rule to delay the electronic reporting date for 15 days. Submit comments using Docket No. OSHA-2013-0023 to the Federal eRulemaking Portal.
EPA Moves to End WOTUS Rule
EPA, Department of Army and Army Corps of Engineers have proposed to rescind the Clean Water Rule and re-codify the regulatory text that existed prior to 2015 defining "waters of the United States." This action would, when finalized, provide certainty in the interim, pending a second rulemaking in which the agencies will engage in a substantive re-evaluation of the definition of "waters of the United States." The proposed rule would be implemented in accordance with Supreme Court decisions, agency guidance and longstanding practice.
"We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation's farmers and businesses," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "This is the first step in the two-step process to redefine waters of the U.S. and we are committed to moving through this re-evaluation to quickly provide regulatory certainty, in a way that is thoughtful, transparent and collaborative with other agencies and the public."
RMP Effective Date Extended to February 2019
EPA has finalized the extension to the effective date for the Risk Management Plan (RMP) rule. The new effective date is February 19, 2019. EPA now plans to address the petitions for reconsideration of the January rule, which will likely result in a proposal with rule changes.
What You Need to Know as Gen Z Enters the Workforce
The first members of Generation Z (born from 1995 to 2012) are graduating from college and entering the workforce. They tend to be fiercely independent, extremely competitive and motivated by a fear of missing out on things, but if we try to treat Gen Z the same as Millennials, it will backfire. Click here to read this insightful article.
OSHA Posts FY 2016 Enforcement Statistics
OSHA posted its 2016 Enforcement Summary, which highlights the Agency's inspection statistics. The data shows that the number of programmed inspections continue to decline, while the percentage of unprogrammed inspections remains high. OSHA says it is devoting most of its resources toward responding to injury-related activities as a result of the 2014 final rule requiring the reporting of fatalities and severe injuries to OSHA.
In fiscal year (FY) 2016, OSHA conducted 31,948 total inspections. Of these, 60 percent were unprogrammed inspections, which include the employer reports of severe injuries along with employee complaints and referrals. OSHA also conducted 12,731 programmed inspections. These inspections focus on industries and employers where known hazards exist (e.g., combustible dusts, chemical processing).
In 2016, OSHA began using the Enforcement Weighting System, which changed the way it evaluated inspections. The new system assigns a value called an Enforcement Unit to specific categories of inspections and investigations. All inspections receive an Enforcement Unit value of at least one. The more time and effort that is needed, the more Enforcement Units are assigned to the investigation. Examples of more resource-intensive investigations include ergonomics, heat, chemical exposures, workplace violence and process safety management.
FY 2016 OSHA Enforcement Statistics
OSHA Inspection Statistics
FY 2011
FY 2012
FY 2013
FY 2014
FY 2015
FY 2016
Total inspections
40,614
40,961
39,228
36,163
35,820
31,948
Total programmed inspections
23,329
23,078
22,170
19,222
16,527
12,731
Total unprogrammed inspections
17,285
17,883
17,058
16,941
19,293
19,217
- Fatality/Catastrophe Inspections
851
900
826
850
912
890
- Complaints Inspection
8,765
9,573
9,505
9,570
9,037
8,870
- Referrals
4,776
4,864
4,024
3,829
4,705
4,641
- Referrals, Employer Reported
NA
NA
NA
NA
1,864
2,050
OSHA Inspection Statistics
FY 2011
FY 2012
FY 2013
FY 2014
FY 2015
FY 2016
Total Violations
85,514
78,723
78,186
67,680
64,763
58,702
Total Serious Violations
62,115
57,112
58,316
49,616
47,934
42,984
Total Willful Violations
594
423
319
439
527
524
Total Repeat Violations
3,229
3,034
3,139
2,966
3,088
3,146
Total Other-than-Serious
19,306
18,054
16,290
14,503
13,016
11,895
Enforcement Weighting Values
Inspection Category Type
Enforcement Unit Value Assigned
Federal Agency
2
Process Safety Management
7
Combustible Dust
2
Ergonomic
5
Heat
4
Non-PEL Exposures
3
Workplace Violence
3
Fatality/Catastrophe
3
Personal Sampling
2
SIG Case
8
Phone/Fax Complaints
1/9
Rapid Response Investigations
1/9
All Other Inspections
1
2017 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.
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Ten acres serve as the proving grounds for this state-of-the-art training facility. A mile of all-weather track has been strategically designed to provide the most realistic hands-on driving experience possible. More than a million dollars in equipment is used to facilitate this unique learning process over the four day course. A variety of exercises reinforce the learning process and help to familiarize the participants with the basic skills required for becoming a professional operator.
Click here to experience the track via drone.
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Ride-N-Drive Challenges
Electric Lines
Left Turns
Narrow Gates
Railroad Crossings
Overgrown Entrances
Telephone Poles
Bridges
Square Corners
Uneven Fields
Steep Slopes
How to Start a Field
Attention to Booms
Waterways/Berms
Topics Covered
Importance of Professionalism
Ride-N-Drive the Fleet
Consequences of Poor Decisions
Understanding Product Labels
Field Math
Measurements
Sprayer Systems
Calibration - Liquid & Dry
Field Computers/Controllers
Agitation
New Chemistry & Challenges
Difference in Tank Additives
Drift Management Options & Strategies
Tank Cleanout
Safety on the Road
Recordkeeping
Assessing Each Field
Tabletop Scenarios
Preparation for State Applicator Test
Equipment Used in Training
AGCO RoGator 1100B
John Deere 4830
Case Patriot 4420
Hagie STS-10
AGCO 1803 TerraGator - Dry
One Mile of Ride-N-Drive Track
New Leader Dry Spreader Calibration
Dry Bed Chain Calibration
Liquid Calibration Unit
Spray Table
Field Computer/Controller Operation
Agitation Demonstration
Sprayer Tank Cleanout - Demo
Sprayer Tank Cleanout - Exercise
Sprayer System Exercise
DOT Applicator Trailer Exercise
Re-Loading/Nurse Exercise
Remote Cameras/Radio Contact
Audience Response System
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
Applicator Launch
The course curriculum is built on extensive feedback AGCO and the Asmark Institute have gathered from ag retailers and industry partners. Each course will consist of 3-1/2 days of training. Greg Yoder, an experienced applicator and retailer with years of experience, will be the lead instructor for the course. Dr. Bob Wolf, who is highly-recognized on the subject of spray drift and application echnologies, will share his expertise on day two of the course. Combined, these instructors have more than 80 years experience on the topics they will teach during the course. Register online today! Click here for more information and to register.
School for New Professional Applicators Launched
Asmark Institute and AGCO Corporation collaborated to offer a new training program dedicated to educating and developing professional applicators. The Applicator Training Center was launched on June 12th at an event that drew nearly 200 attendees. The new course will provide a comprehensive training program designed for newly hired applicators and those with up to five years of experience in liquid and dry application.
Troike Named CEO of Newly Formed Ceres Solutions Cooperative
Jeff Troike
Congratulations to Jeff Troike on being named President and CEO of the newly formed Ceres Solutions Cooperative, created from the recent merger of Ceres Solutions LLP and North Central Co-op. Ceres Solutions is a charter member of the Asmark Institute dating back to 1999 at the time it was known as Growers Cooperative. The new entity will serve energy, agronomy, animal nutrition and grain marketing needs in almost 30 Indiana counties and seven counties in Michigan. The new organization will officially begin doing business on September 1, 2017. Troike brings more than three decades of cooperative management to his role - most recently as President/CEO of Ceres Solutions LLP. Raised on a family farm in Starke County, Troike is a 1982 Purdue University graduate and current Land O'Lakes Board Member. Congratulations to Jeff and welcome to the North Central Co-op locations coming onboard.
Agri-AFC's Alec Sheffer Testifies at Senate Ag Hearing
Alec Sheffer
Agri-AFC Director of Retail Sales Alec Sheffer provided his perspective on the farm economy to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on May 25th. He appeared on behalf of the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) before the committee during a hearing titled: "Examining the Farm Economy: Perspectives on Rural America."
He joined fellow panelists Dr. Robert Johansson, Chief Economist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Dr. Nathan Kauffman, Assistant Vice President, Economist, and Omaha Branch Executive for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; and Dr. Bruce Weber, Professor Emeritus of Applied Economics and Director of Rural Studies Program at Oregon State University.
Sheffer's comments addressed declining commodity prices, increased regulatory burdens and market uncertainty, as well as press policy priorities such as tax reform, crop insurance, repeal of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System pesticide general permit requirement and review of the Waters of the United States rule. You can live stream the hearing by clicking here.
2017 National Safety School - Register Today!
The 39th annual National, Agronomic, Environmental, Health & Safety School will be held on August 22-23, 2017 in Bloomington, Illinois at the Asmark Institute Agricenter. An outstanding lineup of national speakers has been confirmed to present, and this is one you won't want to miss! This year's keynote address will be given by Chip Lerwick, Managing Director with Aon Risk Solutions. Other favorites speaking again this year will be Brian Bothast, OSHA Compliance Specialist, Tom Bray with J.J. Keller and Associates, Dr. Fred Whitford, Purdue University, Nancy Fitz with U.S. EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs and Dustin Warder, Manager of Regulatory Affairs with the Asmark Institute. Please visit the website at naehss.org for further information and to register.
Heads Up! Watch for Your Executive Summary
Lighthouse Executive Summary
Back by popular demand, this dynamic service uses logic to identify potential areas of concern specific to each manned facility. The 2017 Lighthouse Executive Summary was mailed on July 3rd and is designed to prompt the facility to action before an inspector or auditor shows up. It's about dotting your i's and crossing your t's. The result should be happier audits with less violations and penalties - and hopefully you will never make the nightly news or be referred to the Attorney General's office. Each page of the Executive Summary is dedicated to a specific subject and contains a brief explanation of the regulatory requirement and how to proceed in completing it.
Reminder: HazMat Annual Registration Expired on June 30th
If your company transports, or offers for transport, hazardous materials that require placarding by the DOT, they must be registered with the DOT. If your company registers with DOT annually, then your HazMat Registration expires on June 30th each year. If your company registers for a two or three year period, check your registration for the expiration year. A copy of the current registration must be carried in every company vehicle used to transport hazardous materials. You can register and pay the fee online at the DOT's website by clicking here.
Nurse Tank Inspection "CT" Courses
If you are interested in certifying your own employees to be able to perform nurse tank inspections, then this course is for you! Facility personnel that want to learn more about the process will also find this new hands-on Asmark Institute Signature course very beneficial. The final three classes for 2017 will be offered at the Agricenter in Bloomington, IL between July 18th and the 20th. Click here for information on the class and to register. The course is an action packed day and registration is $165 per person. Space is limited so register today.
OSHA Ag-30 Course - More Courses Posted
This very popular training 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. 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. We encourage at least one person per facility receive this training. Click here for more information or to register.
It's Time to Register With ResponsibleAg
More than 2,500 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with 557 facilities already receiving their certification. We encourage you to register your facilities today! For more information and to register, go to: www.responsibleag.org
ResponsibleAg Needs Auditors
Several organizations 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 91 choosing to become credentialed by ResponsibleAg. To become a ResponsibleAg auditor, the first step is to attend the training. Two classes are offered per year. Reserve your seat in the upcoming September class now. Click here to register.
U.S. Supreme Court Will Not Hear ELD Case
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association's (OOIDA's) bid to block the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate hit its final roadblock as the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will not hear the case. OOIDA had claimed that ELDs violate the Fourth Amendment as a warrantless search or seizure.
As a result, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruling to uphold the ELD regulations remains intact. The DOT rules for ELDs were published on December 16, 2015, with a compliance deadline of December 18, 2017. Under those rules, most drivers who currently use paper logs must use electronic logs by the December 18, 2017 deadline. Better prepare for ELDs if you are not exempt. If you don't meet one of the following exemptions, you should prepare for Electronic Logging Devices. The DOT rule only allows these limited exceptions to the ELD mandate for drivers:
  • Who operate under the short-haul exceptions. They may continue using timecards, are not required to keep records of duty status and will not be required to use ELDs;
  • Who use paper RODS for not more than 8 days out of every rolling 30-day period;
  • Who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations, in which the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered;
  • In a drive-away/tow-away operation in which the vehicle being transported is a motor home or a recreation vehicle trailer; or
  • Driving a vehicle that was manufactured before model year 2000, as reflected in the vehicle identification number as shown on the vehicle's registration.
SARA Tier 2 Hazard Categories Revised for 2018
When you file your SARA Tier 2 chemical inventory reports this coming March 2018, there will be a major change in the report. EPA has expanded the physical and health hazard categories to align with the Global Harmonization System (GHS). There are now 23 categories, up from 5 that industry is accustom to.
Asmark Institute "Lighthouse" clients can rest assured the Asmark staff is working diligently to gather and enter the new hazard category information for the 5,000+ products in the ProFiles database. This should result in our clients not seeing any difference in the SARA reporting process because the new physical and health hazard categories will automatically show up for all chemicals reportable on the Tier 2 forms.
If you are not an Asmark Institute Lighthouse client, we recommend you begin gathering the current information and updating the physical and health hazard categories for the chemicals you report. If you wait until February 2018 to do this, you may have waited too late!
Tier 2 Updates - Let the Confusion begin!
In early June, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) sent out an email to all the companies who file annual Tier 2 chemical inventory reports. The reason for the email was to let everyone know that the hazard categories for the chemicals have been expanded. The point of the email was to warn companies that it will take a while to enter the new hazard categories when you do your next Tier 2 report that must be filed by March 1, 2018. IEMA has already updated their state software and was letting everyone know that they are able to log into the Illinois website and begin updating their hazard categories. This was a recommendation, not a requirement as many people thought. If you are an Asmark Institute Lighthouse client, this will be completed for you and no action on your part is required.
Indiana to Classify Dicamba Products as RUPs
The formal Indiana state rulemaking process to classify dicamba agricultural use pesticides as state Restricted-Use Pesticides (RUPs) is now underway, according to Dave Scott, pesticide administrator for the Office of Indiana State Chemist. Scott says the state Pesticide Review Board wants to adopt a restricted use pesticide classification rule for any product with at least 6.5% dicamba.
Kansas Allows For Overweight Truck Permits
Six-axle trucks may now transport 90,000 lbs. beginning July 1, 2017 according to the Kansas Agricultural Retailers Association (KARA). Following the successful passage of House Bill 2095 this year, motor carriers with a $200 annual permit may now transport up to 90,000 lbs. on 6-axle vehicle configurations on non-interstate roads. The new law allows the transport of up to 90,000 lbs. for motor carriers transporting "agricultural products." As defined in the law, agricultural products includes "agricultural inputs, farm supplies, biofuels, feed, raw or processed agricultural commodities, livestock, raw meat products or farm products." The bill specifically states that the term agricultural products is to be construed liberally. The law becomes effective on July 1, 2017. Starting July 1, 2017, motor carriers will be able to apply for and purchase an Annual Overweight Agricultural Permit through KDOT's online permitting system, at www.k-trips.com.
OSHA Delays July 1st Electronic Reporting Date
OSHA has proposed a rule to delay the compliance date for employers to submit their injury and illness data electronically to the agency. OSHA's May 12, 2016 final rule titled "Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses," required employers to submit data from their 300-A Summaries electronically to OSHA by July 1st.
The new proposed rule would extend the initial submission deadline for 2016 Form 300-A data to December 1, 2017. OSHA says this will give them time to review the electronic reporting requirements before their implementation and allow affected employers sufficient time to familiarize themselves with the electronic reporting system. The proposed five-month delay will be effective upon publication of a final rule in the Federal Register.
According to OSHA, the web portal for employers to submit their data should be available on August 1, 2017. In addition, OSHA says it plans to issue a separate proposed rule to reconsider, revise or remove other provisions of the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses final rule. The agency will seek comment on those provisions in the separate proposal. OSHA will accept comments on the current proposed rule to delay the electronic reporting date for 15 days. Submit comments using Docket No. OSHA-2013-0023 to the Federal eRulemaking Portal.
EPA Moves to End WOTUS Rule
EPA, Department of Army and Army Corps of Engineers have proposed to rescind the Clean Water Rule and re-codify the regulatory text that existed prior to 2015 defining "waters of the United States." This action would, when finalized, provide certainty in the interim, pending a second rulemaking in which the agencies will engage in a substantive re-evaluation of the definition of "waters of the United States." The proposed rule would be implemented in accordance with Supreme Court decisions, agency guidance and longstanding practice.
"We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation's farmers and businesses," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "This is the first step in the two-step process to redefine waters of the U.S. and we are committed to moving through this re-evaluation to quickly provide regulatory certainty, in a way that is thoughtful, transparent and collaborative with other agencies and the public."
RMP Effective Date Extended to February 2019
EPA has finalized the extension to the effective date for the Risk Management Plan (RMP) rule. The new effective date is February 19, 2019. EPA now plans to address the petitions for reconsideration of the January rule, which will likely result in a proposal with rule changes.
What You Need to Know as Gen Z Enters the Workforce
The first members of Generation Z (born from 1995 to 2012) are graduating from college and entering the workforce. They tend to be fiercely independent, extremely competitive and motivated by a fear of missing out on things, but if we try to treat Gen Z the same as Millennials, it will backfire. Click here to read this insightful article.
OSHA Posts FY 2016 Enforcement Statistics
OSHA posted its 2016 Enforcement Summary, which highlights the Agency's inspection statistics. The data shows that the number of programmed inspections continue to decline, while the percentage of unprogrammed inspections remains high. OSHA says it is devoting most of its resources toward responding to injury-related activities as a result of the 2014 final rule requiring the reporting of fatalities and severe injuries to OSHA.
In fiscal year (FY) 2016, OSHA conducted 31,948 total inspections. Of these, 60 percent were unprogrammed inspections, which include the employer reports of severe injuries along with employee complaints and referrals. OSHA also conducted 12,731 programmed inspections. These inspections focus on industries and employers where known hazards exist (e.g., combustible dusts, chemical processing).
In 2016, OSHA began using the Enforcement Weighting System, which changed the way it evaluated inspections. The new system assigns a value called an Enforcement Unit to specific categories of inspections and investigations. All inspections receive an Enforcement Unit value of at least one. The more time and effort that is needed, the more Enforcement Units are assigned to the investigation. Examples of more resource-intensive investigations include ergonomics, heat, chemical exposures, workplace violence and process safety management.
FY 2016 OSHA Enforcement Statistics
OSHA Inspection Statistics
FY 2011
FY 2012
FY 2013
FY 2014
FY 2015
FY 2016
Total inspections
40,614
40,961
39,228
36,163
35,820
31,948
Total programmed inspections
23,329
23,078
22,170
19,222
16,527
12,731
Total unprogrammed inspections
17,285
17,883
17,058
16,941
19,293
19,217
- Fatality/Catastrophe Inspections
851
900
826
850
912
890
- Complaints Inspection
8,765
9,573
9,505
9,570
9,037
8,870
- Referrals
4,776
4,864
4,024
3,829
4,705
4,641
- Referrals, Employer Reported
NA
NA
NA
NA
1,864
2,050
OSHA Inspection Statistics
FY 2011
FY 2012
FY 2013
FY 2014
FY 2015
FY 2016
Total Violations
85,514
78,723
78,186
67,680
64,763
58,702
Total Serious Violations
62,115
57,112
58,316
49,616
47,934
42,984
Total Willful Violations
594
423
319
439
527
524
Total Repeat Violations
3,229
3,034
3,139
2,966
3,088
3,146
Total Other-than-Serious
19,306
18,054
16,290
14,503
13,016
11,895
Enforcement Weighting Values
Inspection Category Type
Enforcement Unit Value Assigned
Federal Agency
2
Process Safety Management
7
Combustible Dust
2
Ergonomic
5
Heat
4
Non-PEL Exposures
3
Workplace Violence
3
Fatality/Catastrophe
3
Personal Sampling
2
SIG Case
8
Phone/Fax Complaints
1/9
Rapid Response Investigations
1/9
All Other Inspections
1
2017 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.