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Newsletter
Volume 176
July 1, 2018

Heads Up! Watch for Your Annual Executive Summary

The 2018 Lighthouse Executive Summary (LES-2018) will be mailed on July 5th.  LES-2018 is a dynamic service which uses unique logic to identify potential areas of concern specific to each facility.  It will highlight areas of compliance proactively where attention may be needed to address issues not otherwise identified until you are being audited by one of the agencies.  LES-2018 is designed to prompt the facility to action before an inspector or auditor shows up and before there is a problem.  This marks the first year the LES includes the new MyScore feature.  Together these services are designed to effectively promote the continuous process of proactively identifying and tracking your risk management efforts.  If you missed the earlier article about the new MyScore feature click here to learn more.

LES-2018 is about dotting your i's and crossing t's to ensure a safe work environment and reduce your risk and liability.  Each page of the summary is dedicated to a specific topic and contains a brief explanation of the requirement and how to proceed in completing it.  We encourage you to review the summary and take immediate action to address any areas of concern in a timely manner - then check MyScore to see proof of your accomplishment.  Clients have been categorized by MyScore this year for follow-up.  Depending on which category you fall in, you may be contacted for a follow-up call by our customer service department, or an on-site visit by someone from our management team to work with you to help improve your score.

2018 National Safety School – Register Today!

The 40th annual National Agronomic, Environmental, Health & Safety School will be held on August 21-22, 2018 in Bloomington, Illinois at the Asmark Institute Agricenter. The school provides EHS&S professionals in the agricultural industry a unique opportunity to gain valuable insight into a host of regulatory topics facing our industry. This year marks the safety school’s 40th anniversary and each participant (paid registration) will receive a Limited Edition 1956 Ford F-100 Truck, produced specifically to commemorate the school’s anniversary.  The replica is a 1:24 scale model, which is a first of its kind to be produced.  Register early while supplies last!

This year's keynote address will be given by Jay Vroom, President & CEO of CropLife America.  Other notable speakers are:  Tom Bray with J.J. Keller & Associates, Brian Bothast with OSHA and Dr. Fred Whitford with Purdue Pesticide Programs.  There will be a ResponsibleAg Program Update as well as Updates from the Hill by the three national associations - ARA, CLA and TFI.  Matt Pearson with the Office of Indiana State Chemist is doing a segment on Concrete Containment: Repair or Replace?  Nancy Fitz with U.S. EPA is leading a panel discussion on the new Worker Protection Standard requirement changes.  To see the full agenda and get registered, click here.

EPA Announces WPS Training Materials Available

On June 22nd, EPA posted a notice in the Federal Register stating that pesticide safety training materials with the expanded content required by the 2015 Worker Protection Standard (WPS) are available for use.  Materials developed through an EPA cooperative agreement are available at the Pesticide Education Resources Collaborative (PERC) website.  Training programs must include the expanded content by December 19, 2018.  EPA is currently reconsidering three requirements of the 2015 revised WPS and plans to request comments on potential changes to the designated representative provision, the minimum age for handlers and early-entry workers and the application exclusion zone.  If those requirements are changed through a final rulemaking, training materials will need to be amended to reflect the changes.

Asmark Institute has been working towards these anticipated changes.  We have already modified our WPS training script, submitted it to EPA and received comments.  We have been filming new footage for the expanded content and are looking for a few more volunteers to get the filming wrapped up.  If your location is interested in helping, please contact Brian Mason at 270-926-4600 ext. 230 or brian@asmark.org.  Once the filming is finished, the footage will be edited in house and then submitted to EPA for final approval.  Plans are to have the new content included in a DVD exchange to take place in late November so training can be conducted by the December 19, 2018 deadline.  Until then, the WPS video currently on DVD #2 is approved by EPA.

Reminder: HazMat Annual Registration Expires on June 30th

If your company transports, or offers for transport, hazardous materials that require placarding by DOT, they must be registered with DOT.  If your company registers with DOT annually, then your HazMat Registration expires on June 30th each year.  The 2018-2019 registration year covers the period between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.  If your company registers for a two or three year period, check your registration for the expiration year.

The annual fee for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations is still $250 per year plus a $25 processing fee, while the fee for all others remains $2,575 per year plus a $25 processing fee.  A copy of the current registration must be carried in every company vehicle used to transport hazardous materials. Past copies of the certificate of registration must be kept for three years at the office.  You can register and pay the fee online at DOT's website by clicking here.

Nurse Tank Inspection “CT” Course - Summer Training Dates Announced

The 2018 Summer schedule for the NTIP “CT” Course held in Bloomington, IL has been set. This one-day course provides an in-depth learning experience on the procedures required to properly inspect and test nurse tanks used for anhydrous ammonia.  The course includes a great deal of hands-on training, demonstrations, pressure and leakage tests, external visual inspections, thickness tests, overview of regulations, inspector qualifications and recordkeeping.

The classroom is filled with practically every mechanical component used in an anhydrous ammonia installation - from bulkhead to the nurse wagon and beyond to applicators.  Lead instructor, John Rebholz, has more than three decades of experience.  After serving 28 years with the Illinois Department of Agriculture, John became the Director of Safety and Education for the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association (IFCA), and the instructor for the Asmark Institute’s Nurse Tank “CT” Inspection Course and Ammonia Technician Course.

Upon completion, participants will receive a certificate and wallet card valid for three years, which fulfills the training requirements for DOT’s function-specific training for hazardous materials.  This course serves to provide the initial and three year refresher training to maintain your credentials as a CT inspector.

Classes are limited to 22 participants, so register today to ensure you get the class date most convenient to you. Click here to register.

OSHA AG-30 Registration Now Open

Small employers are not immune from being caught up in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP).  Nearly 68% of SVEP cases are small employer cases. The OSHA AG-30 Course 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 may even save lives.

The OSHA AG-30 Course is the only ag specific OSHA training in the country.  This course is conducted at a retired agrichemical facility specifically designed and retrofitted for training purposes. The course is led by Brian Miller, President of Miller Risk Management, who has more than 35 years experience.  Brian holds a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) designation, is a Certified Professional EHS Auditor (CPEA) and is OSHA-authorized to provide this training. “Mr. Miller made this material interesting and engaging, especially when it’s somewhat dry to begin with,” stated Amy Miley from Ashland, OH. Brian has a talent for turning what could potentially be a boring subject, into training that grabs your attention and keeps you engaged. We encourage at least one person per facility receive this training.  Upon completion of the course, the participants will receive a 30 hour General Industry Health and Safety OSHA card and Asmark training certificate.

Classes are limited to 24 participants, so register today to ensure you get the class date that is most convenient for you.  Click here to register.

Heads Up! Driver File Annual Reviews Begin Soon

Driver File annual review season is upon us yet again.  Every year during the months of July through October, the DQF team completes an annual review on every driver at each facility.  This is typically the slowest time period for facilities and when the lowest number of drivers are employed.  Depending on when your facility's annual review was completed last year, you can expect to receive the Certification of Violations (CV) forms for each driver at your facility to sign and return sometime between July 5th and October 15th.

For those facilities signed up for ESP, electronic signatures are used to sign the forms making it a very efficient process, saving you time and money.  Per DOT regulations, an annual review must be done within 12 months of the previous year’s file review in order to keep the driver in compliance.  Please pay close attention to the deadline date for returning all Certification of Violations forms to ensure your drivers remain in compliance and don’t become disqualified.  If you have any questions about the annual review process of driver files, please call the DQF team at 270-926-4600 Ext. 501.

It's Time to Register With ResponsibleAg

More than 2,500 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with 1,091 facilities already receiving their certification. We encourage you to register your facilities today! For more information and to register, go to: www.responsibleag.org

Google Takes Measures to Ensure Your Safety

Some say Google is the greatest concept since sliced bread. Want to know how much a cloud weighs?  Or if Betty White really is older than sliced bread?  Give it a google and you’ll get your answer.  Google is unique in its own way, but like all other businesses it has the necessity to provide the utmost security to its clients.  Google’s most recent steps towards this is to flag all websites that do not have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate.  What this means to you is, when you search for something on Google and go to a website that doesn’t have an SSL Certificate, then the URL will light up and say “Not Secure.”

What is an SSL Certificate?  Think of it as an electronic passport.  It establishes a secure link between the web server and a browser for the purpose of ensuring all the data that passes through remains private and intact.  By having an SSL Certificate, it is proof that you are a safe site and you are who you represent yourself to be.  For all the websites that do not have an SSL Certificate in place, Google is giving them until July before they start flagging the unsecure pages.  In the past, website’s were not required to have an SSL Certificate, but because Google has decided to take these steps and they hold the majority of the domain market share, all the other browsers will closely follow.

Submit 300A Forms Electronically by July 1st

Reminder - Covered facilities must submit their completed 2017 OSHA Form 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses information by July 1, 2018.  A recent press release from OSHA clarifies that all affected employers are required to submit in the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) online portal, even if the employer is covered by a State Plan that has not completed adoption on their own state rule.  Again, electronic recordkeeping is only required if you have 20 or more employees at one facility.

Remember, there are 21 State Plans that cover private workplaces.  They are Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.  If you are in one of these states, you should contact your State Plan office for more information.

Starting in 2019, this information will need to be submitted by March 2nd each year.  OSHA is not accepting Form 300 or 301 information at this time.  They are drafting a Notice of Proposed Rule Making that will seek comment on those provisions.

OSHA Updates Booklet on Inspections

The pamphlet on Employer Rights and Responsibilities following a Federal OSHA inspection has been updated.  Covering topics ranging from posting requirements and informal conferences to contesting citations and follow-up inspections, this booklet is a great resource for employers.  Click here to view the publication.

Training Videos: Importance of Fresh Content

Keeping training videos updated with fresh content is a critical aspect of your company’s training program. Fresh content works to keep an employee’s attention, helping them to be more engaged to the message of the video topic. Each year the Asmark Institute’s video team works to update and re-shoot footage on 4-8 of our existing training topics.

This year one of their updates will include the topic When A Crisis Strikes, which trains employees on how to properly address questions from the media during a crisis. This video was first filmed and produced by DowElanco in the early 90’s and has served our industry well ever since. Plans are underway to update this topic with a fresh new look, complete with assistance from the local fire department’s hazmat team, police and a TV reporter.

Keep an eye out for this updated topic to be released in the fall. In addition, the Asmark Institute’s video team will also be working on expanding the Worker Protection Standard video so that it will be ready for EPA’s approval once the expanded training content becomes a requirement.  Until then, the WPS video currently on DVD #2 is approved by EPA.  If your facility would like to help the video team in expanding or updating these topics this year, please contact Brian Mason at 270-926-4600 ext. 230 or brian@asmark.org.

Meister Media Debuts Growing Innovations

While innovation abounds in agriculture, it can feel as if the gap between exciting new developments is far and wide between what is actually needed. Meister Media Worldwide intends to help narrow this gap by introducing Growing Innovations - an altogether new type of event.

Unlike most agricultural events, Growing Innovations isn’t necessarily about technology, nor is it about everyday issues that agriculture faces.  Instead, it is a solutions oriented conference and tradeshow designed to bring growers the comprehensive knowledge and resources needed to adapt and thrive.  Growing Innovations will showcase advances, both current and up-and-coming, that have the greatest potential to help solve many of the real-world challenges that specialty crop growers face such as production efficiency, labor and water shortages, logistics and data management just to name a few.

Growing Innovations will debut November 7-8, 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.  To learn more or to register, click here.

RMP Reconsideration Rule Proposed

EPA’s Administrator signed a proposed rule requesting public comment on several proposed changes to the final Risk Management Program (RMP) Amendments issued on January 13, 2017.  The proposal reflects issues raised in three petitions for reconsideration of the RMP Amendments, as well as other revisions the EPA identified in its review of the rule.  EPA is proposing to rescind all accident prevention program provisions of the RMP Amendments rule.  This would include third party audits, safer technology and alternatives analyses, and incident investigation root cause analysis.

EPA is proposing to rescind most of the public information availability provisions, but is retaining the provision requiring a public meeting after an accident.  They are also proposing modifications to the emergency coordination and exercise provisions to address security concerns and give more flexibility.  Proposed compliance dates will range by topic from one year, after the effective date of the final rule, to up to five years.

The proposed changes would maintain consistency between the RMP accident prevention requirements and OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) standard.  A public hearing is scheduled for June 14, 2018, and the proposed rule has a 60-day comment period.  Click here to read the proposed rule.

DOT Issues Hours-of-Service Guidance

Motor carriers recently received new regulatory guidance clarifying the longstanding 150 air-mile exception to the hours-of-service regulations for agricultural commodities from DOT.  The guidance is applicable to all transporters of agricultural commodities and includes the transportation of non-processed food, feed, fiber or livestock and insects.  Drivers operating unladen vehicles traveling either to pick up an agricultural commodity or returning from a delivery point are not subject to the hours-of-service regulations while operating within 150 air-mile radius of the source of the commodity.  Also, drivers engaged in trips beyond 150 air-miles from the source of the agricultural commodity are not subject to the hours of service regulations until they exit the 150 air-mile radius.

The guidance clarifies that a source may not only be the farm or ranch where the agricultural commodity originates, but also may include intermediate storage and loading facilities, such as grain elevators or sale barns, provided the product still meets the definition of an agricultural commodity.  When agricultural commodities are loaded at multiple sources during a trip, only the first loading point can be considered a source.  Click here for more details.

National Labor Law Poster Updates

Considering the magnitude of state and federal agencies in existence today, it’s no surprise that labor laws are constantly changing.  The Federal Wage and Labor Law Institute (FWLLI) tracks these updates for us and we provide results for you.  Wondering if you need a poster update?  Click here to check for the latest Federal and/or State updates to the labor law posters.

Top 10 Agribusiness Insurance Claims

To help educate agribusinesses, Nationwide has revealed the most common agribusiness insurance claims that have totaled over 50,000 claims in the last three years.  The top 10 commercial agribusiness claims received by Nationwide in 2017 are:
  1. Motor Vehicle Accidents
  2. Workers Compensation for Disability or Death
  3. Misapplication of Chemicals or Drift
  4. Slip, Fall or Injury
  5. Food Related Claims
  6. Animal Caused Damage or Bite
  7. Glass Breakage
  8. Wind Damage
  9. Hail or Lightning Damage
  10. Fire Damage or Loss
Motor vehicle accidents were the most common commercial agribusiness claim nationwide.  The most frequent accidents were rear end accidents, backing into vehicles and the accidental striking of a stationary object.  The accidents causing the most significant damage were overturned vehicles, head on collisions and intersection accidents.  Click here to read Nationwide’s news release.

Heads Up! Watch for Your Annual Executive Summary

The 2018 Lighthouse Executive Summary (LES-2018) will be mailed on July 5th.  LES-2018 is a dynamic service which uses unique logic to identify potential areas of concern specific to each facility.  It will highlight areas of compliance proactively where attention may be needed to address issues not otherwise identified until you are being audited by one of the agencies.  LES-2018 is designed to prompt the facility to action before an inspector or auditor shows up and before there is a problem.  This marks the first year the LES includes the new MyScore feature.  Together these services are designed to effectively promote the continuous process of proactively identifying and tracking your risk management efforts.  If you missed the earlier article about the new MyScore feature click here to learn more.

LES-2018 is about dotting your i's and crossing t's to ensure a safe work environment and reduce your risk and liability.  Each page of the summary is dedicated to a specific topic and contains a brief explanation of the requirement and how to proceed in completing it.  We encourage you to review the summary and take immediate action to address any areas of concern in a timely manner - then check MyScore to see proof of your accomplishment.  Clients have been categorized by MyScore this year for follow-up.  Depending on which category you fall in, you may be contacted for a follow-up call by our customer service department, or an on-site visit by someone from our management team to work with you to help improve your score.

2018 National Safety School – Register Today!

The 40th annual National Agronomic, Environmental, Health & Safety School will be held on August 21-22, 2018 in Bloomington, Illinois at the Asmark Institute Agricenter. The school provides EHS&S professionals in the agricultural industry a unique opportunity to gain valuable insight into a host of regulatory topics facing our industry. This year marks the safety school’s 40th anniversary and each participant (paid registration) will receive a Limited Edition 1956 Ford F-100 Truck, produced specifically to commemorate the school’s anniversary.  The replica is a 1:24 scale model, which is a first of its kind to be produced.  Register early while supplies last!

This year's keynote address will be given by Jay Vroom, President & CEO of CropLife America.  Other notable speakers are:  Tom Bray with J.J. Keller & Associates, Brian Bothast with OSHA and Dr. Fred Whitford with Purdue Pesticide Programs.  There will be a ResponsibleAg Program Update as well as Updates from the Hill by the three national associations - ARA, CLA and TFI.  Matt Pearson with the Office of Indiana State Chemist is doing a segment on Concrete Containment: Repair or Replace?  Nancy Fitz with U.S. EPA is leading a panel discussion on the new Worker Protection Standard requirement changes.  To see the full agenda and get registered, click here.

EPA Announces WPS Training Materials Available

On June 22nd, EPA posted a notice in the Federal Register stating that pesticide safety training materials with the expanded content required by the 2015 Worker Protection Standard (WPS) are available for use.  Materials developed through an EPA cooperative agreement are available at the Pesticide Education Resources Collaborative (PERC) website.  Training programs must include the expanded content by December 19, 2018.  EPA is currently reconsidering three requirements of the 2015 revised WPS and plans to request comments on potential changes to the designated representative provision, the minimum age for handlers and early-entry workers and the application exclusion zone.  If those requirements are changed through a final rulemaking, training materials will need to be amended to reflect the changes.

Asmark Institute has been working towards these anticipated changes.  We have already modified our WPS training script, submitted it to EPA and received comments.  We have been filming new footage for the expanded content and are looking for a few more volunteers to get the filming wrapped up.  If your location is interested in helping, please contact Brian Mason at 270-926-4600 ext. 230 or brian@asmark.org.  Once the filming is finished, the footage will be edited in house and then submitted to EPA for final approval.  Plans are to have the new content included in a DVD exchange to take place in late November so training can be conducted by the December 19, 2018 deadline.  Until then, the WPS video currently on DVD #2 is approved by EPA.

Reminder: HazMat Annual Registration Expires on June 30th

If your company transports, or offers for transport, hazardous materials that require placarding by DOT, they must be registered with DOT.  If your company registers with DOT annually, then your HazMat Registration expires on June 30th each year.  The 2018-2019 registration year covers the period between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.  If your company registers for a two or three year period, check your registration for the expiration year.

The annual fee for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations is still $250 per year plus a $25 processing fee, while the fee for all others remains $2,575 per year plus a $25 processing fee.  A copy of the current registration must be carried in every company vehicle used to transport hazardous materials. Past copies of the certificate of registration must be kept for three years at the office.  You can register and pay the fee online at DOT's website by clicking here.

Nurse Tank Inspection “CT” Course - Summer Training Dates Announced

The 2018 Summer schedule for the NTIP “CT” Course held in Bloomington, IL has been set. This one-day course provides an in-depth learning experience on the procedures required to properly inspect and test nurse tanks used for anhydrous ammonia.  The course includes a great deal of hands-on training, demonstrations, pressure and leakage tests, external visual inspections, thickness tests, overview of regulations, inspector qualifications and recordkeeping.

The classroom is filled with practically every mechanical component used in an anhydrous ammonia installation - from bulkhead to the nurse wagon and beyond to applicators.  Lead instructor, John Rebholz, has more than three decades of experience.  After serving 28 years with the Illinois Department of Agriculture, John became the Director of Safety and Education for the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association (IFCA), and the instructor for the Asmark Institute’s Nurse Tank “CT” Inspection Course and Ammonia Technician Course.

Upon completion, participants will receive a certificate and wallet card valid for three years, which fulfills the training requirements for DOT’s function-specific training for hazardous materials.  This course serves to provide the initial and three year refresher training to maintain your credentials as a CT inspector.

Classes are limited to 22 participants, so register today to ensure you get the class date most convenient to you. Click here to register.

OSHA AG-30 Registration Now Open

Small employers are not immune from being caught up in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP).  Nearly 68% of SVEP cases are small employer cases. The OSHA AG-30 Course 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 may even save lives.

The OSHA AG-30 Course is the only ag specific OSHA training in the country.  This course is conducted at a retired agrichemical facility specifically designed and retrofitted for training purposes. The course is led by Brian Miller, President of Miller Risk Management, who has more than 35 years experience.  Brian holds a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) designation, is a Certified Professional EHS Auditor (CPEA) and is OSHA-authorized to provide this training. “Mr. Miller made this material interesting and engaging, especially when it’s somewhat dry to begin with,” stated Amy Miley from Ashland, OH. Brian has a talent for turning what could potentially be a boring subject, into training that grabs your attention and keeps you engaged. We encourage at least one person per facility receive this training.  Upon completion of the course, the participants will receive a 30 hour General Industry Health and Safety OSHA card and Asmark training certificate.

Classes are limited to 24 participants, so register today to ensure you get the class date that is most convenient for you.  Click here to register.

Heads Up! Driver File Annual Reviews Begin Soon

Driver File annual review season is upon us yet again.  Every year during the months of July through October, the DQF team completes an annual review on every driver at each facility.  This is typically the slowest time period for facilities and when the lowest number of drivers are employed.  Depending on when your facility's annual review was completed last year, you can expect to receive the Certification of Violations (CV) forms for each driver at your facility to sign and return sometime between July 5th and October 15th.

For those facilities signed up for ESP, electronic signatures are used to sign the forms making it a very efficient process, saving you time and money.  Per DOT regulations, an annual review must be done within 12 months of the previous year’s file review in order to keep the driver in compliance.  Please pay close attention to the deadline date for returning all Certification of Violations forms to ensure your drivers remain in compliance and don’t become disqualified.  If you have any questions about the annual review process of driver files, please call the DQF team at 270-926-4600 Ext. 501.

It's Time to Register With ResponsibleAg

More than 2,500 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with 1,091 facilities already receiving their certification. We encourage you to register your facilities today! For more information and to register, go to: www.responsibleag.org

Google Takes Measures to Ensure Your Safety

Some say Google is the greatest concept since sliced bread. Want to know how much a cloud weighs?  Or if Betty White really is older than sliced bread?  Give it a google and you’ll get your answer.  Google is unique in its own way, but like all other businesses it has the necessity to provide the utmost security to its clients.  Google’s most recent steps towards this is to flag all websites that do not have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate.  What this means to you is, when you search for something on Google and go to a website that doesn’t have an SSL Certificate, then the URL will light up and say “Not Secure.”

What is an SSL Certificate?  Think of it as an electronic passport.  It establishes a secure link between the web server and a browser for the purpose of ensuring all the data that passes through remains private and intact.  By having an SSL Certificate, it is proof that you are a safe site and you are who you represent yourself to be.  For all the websites that do not have an SSL Certificate in place, Google is giving them until July before they start flagging the unsecure pages.  In the past, website’s were not required to have an SSL Certificate, but because Google has decided to take these steps and they hold the majority of the domain market share, all the other browsers will closely follow.

Submit 300A Forms Electronically by July 1st

Reminder - Covered facilities must submit their completed 2017 OSHA Form 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses information by July 1, 2018.  A recent press release from OSHA clarifies that all affected employers are required to submit in the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) online portal, even if the employer is covered by a State Plan that has not completed adoption on their own state rule.  Again, electronic recordkeeping is only required if you have 20 or more employees at one facility.

Remember, there are 21 State Plans that cover private workplaces.  They are Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.  If you are in one of these states, you should contact your State Plan office for more information.

Starting in 2019, this information will need to be submitted by March 2nd each year.  OSHA is not accepting Form 300 or 301 information at this time.  They are drafting a Notice of Proposed Rule Making that will seek comment on those provisions.

OSHA Updates Booklet on Inspections

The pamphlet on Employer Rights and Responsibilities following a Federal OSHA inspection has been updated.  Covering topics ranging from posting requirements and informal conferences to contesting citations and follow-up inspections, this booklet is a great resource for employers.  Click here to view the publication.

Training Videos: Importance of Fresh Content

Keeping training videos updated with fresh content is a critical aspect of your company’s training program. Fresh content works to keep an employee’s attention, helping them to be more engaged to the message of the video topic. Each year the Asmark Institute’s video team works to update and re-shoot footage on 4-8 of our existing training topics.

This year one of their updates will include the topic When A Crisis Strikes, which trains employees on how to properly address questions from the media during a crisis. This video was first filmed and produced by DowElanco in the early 90’s and has served our industry well ever since. Plans are underway to update this topic with a fresh new look, complete with assistance from the local fire department’s hazmat team, police and a TV reporter.

Keep an eye out for this updated topic to be released in the fall. In addition, the Asmark Institute’s video team will also be working on expanding the Worker Protection Standard video so that it will be ready for EPA’s approval once the expanded training content becomes a requirement.  Until then, the WPS video currently on DVD #2 is approved by EPA.  If your facility would like to help the video team in expanding or updating these topics this year, please contact Brian Mason at 270-926-4600 ext. 230 or brian@asmark.org.

Meister Media Debuts Growing Innovations

While innovation abounds in agriculture, it can feel as if the gap between exciting new developments is far and wide between what is actually needed. Meister Media Worldwide intends to help narrow this gap by introducing Growing Innovations - an altogether new type of event.

Unlike most agricultural events, Growing Innovations isn’t necessarily about technology, nor is it about everyday issues that agriculture faces.  Instead, it is a solutions oriented conference and tradeshow designed to bring growers the comprehensive knowledge and resources needed to adapt and thrive.  Growing Innovations will showcase advances, both current and up-and-coming, that have the greatest potential to help solve many of the real-world challenges that specialty crop growers face such as production efficiency, labor and water shortages, logistics and data management just to name a few.

Growing Innovations will debut November 7-8, 2018 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.  To learn more or to register, click here.

RMP Reconsideration Rule Proposed

EPA’s Administrator signed a proposed rule requesting public comment on several proposed changes to the final Risk Management Program (RMP) Amendments issued on January 13, 2017.  The proposal reflects issues raised in three petitions for reconsideration of the RMP Amendments, as well as other revisions the EPA identified in its review of the rule.  EPA is proposing to rescind all accident prevention program provisions of the RMP Amendments rule.  This would include third party audits, safer technology and alternatives analyses, and incident investigation root cause analysis.

EPA is proposing to rescind most of the public information availability provisions, but is retaining the provision requiring a public meeting after an accident.  They are also proposing modifications to the emergency coordination and exercise provisions to address security concerns and give more flexibility.  Proposed compliance dates will range by topic from one year, after the effective date of the final rule, to up to five years.

The proposed changes would maintain consistency between the RMP accident prevention requirements and OSHA’s Process Safety Management (PSM) standard.  A public hearing is scheduled for June 14, 2018, and the proposed rule has a 60-day comment period.  Click here to read the proposed rule.

DOT Issues Hours-of-Service Guidance

Motor carriers recently received new regulatory guidance clarifying the longstanding 150 air-mile exception to the hours-of-service regulations for agricultural commodities from DOT.  The guidance is applicable to all transporters of agricultural commodities and includes the transportation of non-processed food, feed, fiber or livestock and insects.  Drivers operating unladen vehicles traveling either to pick up an agricultural commodity or returning from a delivery point are not subject to the hours-of-service regulations while operating within 150 air-mile radius of the source of the commodity.  Also, drivers engaged in trips beyond 150 air-miles from the source of the agricultural commodity are not subject to the hours of service regulations until they exit the 150 air-mile radius.

The guidance clarifies that a source may not only be the farm or ranch where the agricultural commodity originates, but also may include intermediate storage and loading facilities, such as grain elevators or sale barns, provided the product still meets the definition of an agricultural commodity.  When agricultural commodities are loaded at multiple sources during a trip, only the first loading point can be considered a source.  Click here for more details.

National Labor Law Poster Updates

Considering the magnitude of state and federal agencies in existence today, it’s no surprise that labor laws are constantly changing.  The Federal Wage and Labor Law Institute (FWLLI) tracks these updates for us and we provide results for you.  Wondering if you need a poster update?  Click here to check for the latest Federal and/or State updates to the labor law posters.

Top 10 Agribusiness Insurance Claims

To help educate agribusinesses, Nationwide has revealed the most common agribusiness insurance claims that have totaled over 50,000 claims in the last three years.  The top 10 commercial agribusiness claims received by Nationwide in 2017 are:
  1. Motor Vehicle Accidents
  2. Workers Compensation for Disability or Death
  3. Misapplication of Chemicals or Drift
  4. Slip, Fall or Injury
  5. Food Related Claims
  6. Animal Caused Damage or Bite
  7. Glass Breakage
  8. Wind Damage
  9. Hail or Lightning Damage
  10. Fire Damage or Loss
Motor vehicle accidents were the most common commercial agribusiness claim nationwide.  The most frequent accidents were rear end accidents, backing into vehicles and the accidental striking of a stationary object.  The accidents causing the most significant damage were overturned vehicles, head on collisions and intersection accidents.  Click here to read Nationwide’s news release.
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.