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 165
August 1, 2017
Industry Leader Tom Tunnell Announces Retirement
Tom Tunnell
Kansas will surely miss Tom Tunnell come March 2018 when the state and nationally-respected President and CEO of the Kansas Grain and Feed Association retires and moves on to the next chapter of his life. Tunnell said he had been "blessed with a dream job" and that he "looked forward to going to work each and every day for his 37 years." No small shoes to fill - the plan announced that Tunnell's successor is expected to begin sometime in November 2017 with him remaining on through March 31, 2018, to assist the new individual through the first quarter budget planning and Board meetings of all three associations. We wish Tom a healthy and happy - well-deserved - retirement!
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.
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.
ELD & ELDT: Not to be Confused
In its simplest form, an electronic logging device - or ELD - is used to electronically record a driver's Record of Duty Status (RODS), which replaces the paper logbook some drivers currently use to record their compliance with Hours of Service (HOS) requirements. Carriers and drivers who are subject to the rule must install and use ELDs by the appropriate deadline:
  • Carriers and drivers who are using paper logs or logging software must transition to ELDs no later than December 18, 2017.
  • Carriers and drivers who use automatic on-board recording devices prior to the compliance date must transition to ELDs no later than December 16, 2019.
DOT has established new minimum training standards for individuals applying for a Class A or B commercial driver's license (CDL) for the first time; an upgrade of their CDL (e.g., a Class B CDL holder seeking a Class A CDL); or a hazardous materials (H), passenger (P) or school bus (S) endorsement on their CDL for the first time. These individuals are subject to the ELDT requirements and must complete a prescribed program of knowledge and behind-the-wheel instruction provided by an entity that is approved and listed on DOT's Training Provider Registry.
ELDT Final Rule Is Effective
After three delays, the entry-level driver training (ELDT) final rule is effective! The final rule was published in the Federal Register on December 8, 2016. The "effective date" is specified when it officially becomes part of the Code of Federal Regulations. In this case, the effective date was delayed three times due to the Trump Administration putting a hold on the rule so that it could be reviewed by the new administration. The final rule became effective on June 5th with the compliance date of February 7, 2020.
U.S. House to Consider Delay of ELD Mandate
On July 17th the House Transportation Committee voted 31-20 to send this year's Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill to the full House. It includes a directive that could end up delaying or repealing the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate set to go into effect on December 18th. The House THUD bill now directs the DOT "to analyze whether a full or targeted delay in ELD implementation and enforcement would be appropriate and, if so, what options DOT has within its statutory authority to provide temporary regulatory relief until all ELD implementation challenges can be resolved." The committee justified its concern by noting the heavy burden of this mandate, especially on small carriers - projected to cost over $2 billion to implement, making it one of the most expensive of all transportation rulemakings advanced under the previous administration.
It's Time to Register With ResponsibleAg
More than 2,500 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with 743 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 105 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 - only 8 seats are left. Click here to register.
OSHA Enforcement: Did you know?
  • The average OSHA inspection yields 2.5 violations.
  • Health inspections take approximately 33 hours to conduct.
  • Safety inspections take approximately 22 hours to conduct.
  • 25% of all inspections are "in compliance," meaning no violations were cited.
  • Only 8% of cases are contested by the employer.
  • 3% of inspections are follow-ups from prior inspections.
  • Complaints lead to approximately 25% of all inspections.
OSHA List of Serious Violations Announced
An OSHA violation is deemed "serious" if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists. OSHA recently raised penalties, and now a single serious violation could cost almost $13,000. If more than one serious violation are found at a site, total penalties can multiply. Listed in the table are the top 10 most frequently cited serious violations for general industry:
General Industry
29 CFR 1910
Description
1
.1200(e)(1)
HazCom program
2
.212(a)(1)
Machine guarding
3
.1200(h)(1)
Hazcom info and training
4
.147(c)(4)(i)
Lockout/tagout procedure
5
.178(l)(1)(i)
Forklift training
6
.134(e)(1)
Respirator medical evaluation
7
.212(a)(3)(ii)
Machine guards: Point of operation
8
.134(c)(1)
Respirator program
9
.151(c)
Eye/body flushing facility
10
.1200(g)(8)
HazCom safety data sheet
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 accustomed 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 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!
Following the lead of Illinois, Indiana has 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. Indiana has already updated their state software and was letting everyone know that they are able to log into the 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.
Watch for these states to follow suit as they also use the same Tier II Manager program: Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
EPA Releases Regulatory/Deregulatory Agenda
The Trump Administration recently released the first Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The agenda lists the anticipated proposed and final dates for regulations issued by the federal government, and includes:
  • Agencies withdrew 469 actions proposed in the Fall 2016 Agenda;
  • Agencies reconsidered 391 active actions by reclassifying them as long-term (282) and inactive (109), allowing for further careful review;
  • Economically significant regulations fell to 58, or about 50 percent less than Fall 2016;
  • For the first time, agencies will post and make public their list of "inactive" rules-providing notice to the public of regulations still being reviewed or considered.
Noticeably, no deregulatory actions were identified in the first release. However, items appearing in the EPA Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions for the first time include the following:
  • Second Action: Definition of "Waters of the U.S." - A Notice of Proposed Rule Making is anticipated by December, 2017.
Click here to access the website for more information.
Yet Another New I-9 Form
Just eight months after the release of the most recent version, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released an updated Form I-9. Employers will need to adapt to the change and use the new form by no later than September 18, 2017 or face the possibility of large fines.
DOL Reinstates Wage and Hour Opinion Letters
U.S. Secretary of Labor Acosta will reinstate the issuance of opinion letters, a 70-year practice that President Obama's administration stopped in 2010. According to the Department of Labor's news release, "an opinion letter is an official, written opinion by the Wage and Hour Division of how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by an employer, employee or other entity requesting the opinion." This move will benefit employers and provide some peace of mind, as such opinions will shine further light on providing compliance assistance on how various employment laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, apply to employment circumstances, thereby limiting the employer's potential exposure or allowing the employer to avoid liability.
New Training Requirements for Kansas Commercial Drivers
During the 2017 session, the Kansas legislature passed a bill requiring drivers to receive training on human trafficking. The bill deals with sexual exploitation and human trafficking and requires all truck drivers to take a course in identifying and reporting possible human trafficking activity. The bill is tied to the CDL application and renewal process for truck drivers. Beginning July 1, 2018, Kansas commercial drivers must have certification showing they have completed an online training course in human trafficking identification and prevention in order to receive or renew a commercial driver's license. The short training video and certification quiz can be found on the Truckers Against Trafficking webpage, at: www.truckersagainsttrafficking.org/.
Concerns Over Medical Exam Process Revealed
Since May 21, 2014, all new DOT physicals have had to be performed by a health professional listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. The idea was that a registry would improve the exam process for interstate truck and bus drivers. However, a recent report raises concerns about the cost and quality in the medical certification process. An American Transportation Research Institute survey of 900 drivers, 300 carriers and 1,200 medical examiners found:
  • 63% of drivers faced higher costs for their exams since 2014;
  • 26.6% of drivers reported spending 20 minutes or less with their examiner;
  • 5.9% of drivers were not issued a medical certificate on the day of their exam; and
  • 99% of carriers had major concerns, e.g., examiner competency issues or delays due to examiner requests for more testing.
Hatch Shuts Up PETA without Saying a Word
Proving once again that a single picture can be worth a thousand words, Senator Orrin Hatch (R, UT) recently undercut a PETA anti-agriculture campaign, and he did it without speaking a word to or about the world's largest and most radical animal rights group. Hatch is president pro tempore of the Senate, and sits as the chamber's most senior Republican Senator. After a career of 40 years, he's the longest-serving GOP Senator in U.S. history. So, as big a champion of agriculture as Hatch has always been, it was still a bit of a surprise to see an explosion of media attention to a Tweet the chair of the Senate Finance Committee sent out responding to a PETA challenge, in this case, the question: "Why would anyone eat bacon?" Told by the animal rights group to "provide your best argument," Hatch tweeted a series of photos of himself in the Senate cafeteria eating a bacon sandwich, eating a bacon and egg breakfast, and in a supermarket, buying bacon. All of the photos featured a smiling Hatch, illustrating his best argument.
Quoteworthy
"The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things," said Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States. Born in Tampico, IL he went on to become an actor, governor of California and credited as one of the most popular presidents in U.S. history. Born on February 6, 1911 and died on June 5, 2004.
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.
Industry Leader Tom Tunnell Announces Retirement
Tom Tunnell
Kansas will surely miss Tom Tunnell come March 2018 when the state and nationally-respected President and CEO of the Kansas Grain and Feed Association retires and moves on to the next chapter of his life. Tunnell said he had been "blessed with a dream job" and that he "looked forward to going to work each and every day for his 37 years." No small shoes to fill - the plan announced that Tunnell's successor is expected to begin sometime in November 2017 with him remaining on through March 31, 2018, to assist the new individual through the first quarter budget planning and Board meetings of all three associations. We wish Tom a healthy and happy - well-deserved - retirement!
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.
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.
ELD & ELDT: Not to be Confused
In its simplest form, an electronic logging device - or ELD - is used to electronically record a driver's Record of Duty Status (RODS), which replaces the paper logbook some drivers currently use to record their compliance with Hours of Service (HOS) requirements. Carriers and drivers who are subject to the rule must install and use ELDs by the appropriate deadline:
  • Carriers and drivers who are using paper logs or logging software must transition to ELDs no later than December 18, 2017.
  • Carriers and drivers who use automatic on-board recording devices prior to the compliance date must transition to ELDs no later than December 16, 2019.
DOT has established new minimum training standards for individuals applying for a Class A or B commercial driver's license (CDL) for the first time; an upgrade of their CDL (e.g., a Class B CDL holder seeking a Class A CDL); or a hazardous materials (H), passenger (P) or school bus (S) endorsement on their CDL for the first time. These individuals are subject to the ELDT requirements and must complete a prescribed program of knowledge and behind-the-wheel instruction provided by an entity that is approved and listed on DOT's Training Provider Registry.
ELDT Final Rule Is Effective
After three delays, the entry-level driver training (ELDT) final rule is effective! The final rule was published in the Federal Register on December 8, 2016. The "effective date" is specified when it officially becomes part of the Code of Federal Regulations. In this case, the effective date was delayed three times due to the Trump Administration putting a hold on the rule so that it could be reviewed by the new administration. The final rule became effective on June 5th with the compliance date of February 7, 2020.
U.S. House to Consider Delay of ELD Mandate
On July 17th the House Transportation Committee voted 31-20 to send this year's Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill to the full House. It includes a directive that could end up delaying or repealing the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate set to go into effect on December 18th. The House THUD bill now directs the DOT "to analyze whether a full or targeted delay in ELD implementation and enforcement would be appropriate and, if so, what options DOT has within its statutory authority to provide temporary regulatory relief until all ELD implementation challenges can be resolved." The committee justified its concern by noting the heavy burden of this mandate, especially on small carriers - projected to cost over $2 billion to implement, making it one of the most expensive of all transportation rulemakings advanced under the previous administration.
It's Time to Register With ResponsibleAg
More than 2,500 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with 743 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 105 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 - only 8 seats are left. Click here to register.
OSHA Enforcement: Did you know?
  • The average OSHA inspection yields 2.5 violations.
  • Health inspections take approximately 33 hours to conduct.
  • Safety inspections take approximately 22 hours to conduct.
  • 25% of all inspections are "in compliance," meaning no violations were cited.
  • Only 8% of cases are contested by the employer.
  • 3% of inspections are follow-ups from prior inspections.
  • Complaints lead to approximately 25% of all inspections.
OSHA List of Serious Violations Announced
An OSHA violation is deemed "serious" if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists. OSHA recently raised penalties, and now a single serious violation could cost almost $13,000. If more than one serious violation are found at a site, total penalties can multiply. Listed in the table are the top 10 most frequently cited serious violations for general industry:
General Industry
29 CFR 1910
Description
1
.1200(e)(1)
HazCom program
2
.212(a)(1)
Machine guarding
3
.1200(h)(1)
Hazcom info and training
4
.147(c)(4)(i)
Lockout/tagout procedure
5
.178(l)(1)(i)
Forklift training
6
.134(e)(1)
Respirator medical evaluation
7
.212(a)(3)(ii)
Machine guards: Point of operation
8
.134(c)(1)
Respirator program
9
.151(c)
Eye/body flushing facility
10
.1200(g)(8)
HazCom safety data sheet
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 accustomed 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 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!
Following the lead of Illinois, Indiana has 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. Indiana has already updated their state software and was letting everyone know that they are able to log into the 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.
Watch for these states to follow suit as they also use the same Tier II Manager program: Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
EPA Releases Regulatory/Deregulatory Agenda
The Trump Administration recently released the first Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The agenda lists the anticipated proposed and final dates for regulations issued by the federal government, and includes:
  • Agencies withdrew 469 actions proposed in the Fall 2016 Agenda;
  • Agencies reconsidered 391 active actions by reclassifying them as long-term (282) and inactive (109), allowing for further careful review;
  • Economically significant regulations fell to 58, or about 50 percent less than Fall 2016;
  • For the first time, agencies will post and make public their list of "inactive" rules-providing notice to the public of regulations still being reviewed or considered.
Noticeably, no deregulatory actions were identified in the first release. However, items appearing in the EPA Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions for the first time include the following:
  • Second Action: Definition of "Waters of the U.S." - A Notice of Proposed Rule Making is anticipated by December, 2017.
Click here to access the website for more information.
Yet Another New I-9 Form
Just eight months after the release of the most recent version, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released an updated Form I-9. Employers will need to adapt to the change and use the new form by no later than September 18, 2017 or face the possibility of large fines.
DOL Reinstates Wage and Hour Opinion Letters
U.S. Secretary of Labor Acosta will reinstate the issuance of opinion letters, a 70-year practice that President Obama's administration stopped in 2010. According to the Department of Labor's news release, "an opinion letter is an official, written opinion by the Wage and Hour Division of how a particular law applies in specific circumstances presented by an employer, employee or other entity requesting the opinion." This move will benefit employers and provide some peace of mind, as such opinions will shine further light on providing compliance assistance on how various employment laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, apply to employment circumstances, thereby limiting the employer's potential exposure or allowing the employer to avoid liability.
New Training Requirements for Kansas Commercial Drivers
During the 2017 session, the Kansas legislature passed a bill requiring drivers to receive training on human trafficking. The bill deals with sexual exploitation and human trafficking and requires all truck drivers to take a course in identifying and reporting possible human trafficking activity. The bill is tied to the CDL application and renewal process for truck drivers. Beginning July 1, 2018, Kansas commercial drivers must have certification showing they have completed an online training course in human trafficking identification and prevention in order to receive or renew a commercial driver's license. The short training video and certification quiz can be found on the Truckers Against Trafficking webpage, at: www.truckersagainsttrafficking.org/.
Concerns Over Medical Exam Process Revealed
Since May 21, 2014, all new DOT physicals have had to be performed by a health professional listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. The idea was that a registry would improve the exam process for interstate truck and bus drivers. However, a recent report raises concerns about the cost and quality in the medical certification process. An American Transportation Research Institute survey of 900 drivers, 300 carriers and 1,200 medical examiners found:
  • 63% of drivers faced higher costs for their exams since 2014;
  • 26.6% of drivers reported spending 20 minutes or less with their examiner;
  • 5.9% of drivers were not issued a medical certificate on the day of their exam; and
  • 99% of carriers had major concerns, e.g., examiner competency issues or delays due to examiner requests for more testing.
Hatch Shuts Up PETA without Saying a Word
Proving once again that a single picture can be worth a thousand words, Senator Orrin Hatch (R, UT) recently undercut a PETA anti-agriculture campaign, and he did it without speaking a word to or about the world's largest and most radical animal rights group. Hatch is president pro tempore of the Senate, and sits as the chamber's most senior Republican Senator. After a career of 40 years, he's the longest-serving GOP Senator in U.S. history. So, as big a champion of agriculture as Hatch has always been, it was still a bit of a surprise to see an explosion of media attention to a Tweet the chair of the Senate Finance Committee sent out responding to a PETA challenge, in this case, the question: "Why would anyone eat bacon?" Told by the animal rights group to "provide your best argument," Hatch tweeted a series of photos of himself in the Senate cafeteria eating a bacon sandwich, eating a bacon and egg breakfast, and in a supermarket, buying bacon. All of the photos featured a smiling Hatch, illustrating his best argument.
Quoteworthy
"The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things," said Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States. Born in Tampico, IL he went on to become an actor, governor of California and credited as one of the most popular presidents in U.S. history. Born on February 6, 1911 and died on June 5, 2004.
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.