International Clients
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
Restricted CDL Report
 
Back to Main Menu
International Clients
Canada
South America
 
<
 
List
 
>
Newsletter
Volume 197
April 1, 2020

We hope that all of our clients, partners and their families are healthy and weathering this pandemic as well as can be expected. These are unprecedented times and changes are coming swiftly.  We believe it’s more important than ever to support our clients and help ensure they have what they need to operate safely during spring season.

Here at Asmark, we are all healthy and doing our very best to follow the CDC recommendations while servicing our clients.  To ensure our team members are healthy and available to serve you, we have taken measures so that many of them can work from home. Although this comes with it's own level of difficulty, our Asmark family has done a wonderful job of pulling together the past couple of weeks and getting the work done. We take the health of our staff and their families very seriously and have put in place strict efforts in order to keep our team members well and minimize any impacts to serving our clients - so please be understanding if you hear a dog barking or kids playing in the background.  Some of our essential work cannot be done from home, so we've implemented a series of preventative health measures for those employees whose responsibilities require they be in the office to get the job done.

Thank you for your trust in us. Our relationships with our clients and partners are truly unique and we genuinely appreciate and value your business.  Please take care of yourself, your loved ones and your team.  We're going to get through this, together.

Agriculture Recognized as Essential Critical Infrastructure by DHS

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated agriculture essential to continued critical infrastructure viability.  Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure workforce was issued on March 19th and states "If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule."  Highlights include workers listed in the sectors of Food and Agriculture, Transportation and Logistics, Critical Manufacturing and Chemical.

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, this should allow agricultural retailers to continue operating as usual amid current and potential restrictions created to stop the spread of the virus.  This designation is extremely timely for the upcoming planting season.

Asmark Institute is providing a template that can be printed on your company letterhead and edited with your company-specific information for your employee's to carry with them.  This document, if needed, will inform law enforcement that the individual bearing the document is an employee of, and traveling to or from work, in an essential critical infrastructure sector.  If you have any questions or trouble downloading the word document template, please give us a call at 270-926-4600 Ext 506.

FMCSA Issues Waiver in Response to COVID-19

FMCSA has issued a waiver in response to COVID-19 outbreaks as several states are experiencing employee absences or have closed offices.  As a result, many drivers are unable to renew their CDLs or are unable to provide medical certificates.  In addition, many medical providers nationwide have canceled appointments to dedicate resources to the COVID-19 response.  As a result, drivers are unable to obtain physicals to comply with the regulations.

Among the provisions, this waiver extends the expiration of CDLs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020 until June 30, 2020.  It also waives the requirement that drivers have a medical examination and certification, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification that expired on or after March 1, 2020.  Drivers claiming relief under this waiver must carry a paper copy of their expired medical certificate.  Click here to review the terms, conditions and restrictions of the waiver.

Asmark will not be disqualifying drivers based on expired licenses or medicals that fall within the specified time frame of the waiver.  However, the driver will be marked as "Attention Needed" so the expired license and/or medical remains on the radar to ensure they handle the renewal once the extension period ends.  This will be indicated on both Snapshots and the monthly status reports.

If you have questions, please reach out to our Customer Service Team at 270-926-4600 Ext 506 or customerservice@asmark.org.

DOT Provides Guidance on Compliance with Drug & Alcohol Testing Regulations

DOT recognizes that we are facing an unprecedented public health emergency that is straining medical resources and altering aspects of American life, including the workplace.  During this time compliance may not be possible in certain areas such as drug and alcohol testing requirements due to the unavailability of program resources.  You should make a reasonable effort to locate the necessary resources.  As a best practice at this time, employers should consider mobile collection services for required testing if the fixed-site collection facilities are not available.

If you are unable to conduct DOT drug or alcohol training or testing due to COVID-19-related supply shortages, facility closures or imposed quarantine requirements, you should document why a test was not completed. If training or testing can be conducted later (e.g., supervisor reasonable suspicion training at the next available opportunity, random testing later in the selection period, follow-up testing later in the month), you are to do so in accordance with the applicable regulations.  For example, without a "negative" pre-employment drug test result, an employer may not permit a prospective or current employee to perform any DOT safety-sensitive functions.

Additionally, DOT is aware that some employees have expressed concern about potential public health risks associated with the collection and testing processes.  It is the employer’s responsibility to evaluate the circumstances of the employee’s refusal to test and determine whether or not it should be considered a refusal.  However, as the COVID-19 outbreak poses a novel public health risk, DOT asks employers to be sensitive to employees who indicate they are not comfortable or are afraid to go to clinics or collection sites. For more information, click here to read the official guidance issued.

CVSA Postpones International Roadcheck

Every year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) sets inspection and enforcement initiatives, such as International Roadcheck, which was scheduled for May 5-7. However, with public health and safety as its top concern, CVSA has decided to postpone International Roadcheck to later in the year.

The Alliance will monitor the status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and select the new dates when it’s safe and reasonable to do so. Once the rescheduled dates have been selected, we will pass along the information.

DOT & EPA AG Course - Summer Registration Now Open!

Registration for the 2020 Summer DOT & EPA AG Course, is now open.  The three day course, led by Dustin Warder, Manager of Regulatory Affairs for the Asmark Institute, provides a "facilitated training experience" using a combination of classroom lectures, scenarios and hands-on exercises.  Experience shows our clients simply have an easier time with compliance issues when they understand how the regulations came about and what the agency expects of them.

The training is conducted at the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture in Owensboro, KY, a retired agrichemical facility specifically designed and retrofitted for training purposes.  The facility is one huge "prop," used in the course to reinforce the learning process and help to familiarize the participants with the practical application of the DOT and EPA regulations.  Discover how the agencies work and what violations they impose that can adversely affect your company.  Participants will learn how to assess their organization's level of compliance and utilize safety-audit tools to significantly reduce, and potentially eliminate, accidents and violations.

Class is limited to 24 participants, so register today.  To register click here.  For more information or questions please contact, Patricia at patricia@asmark.org or 270-926-4600 Ext. 234.

2020 Regulatory Posters Delayed...But Will Soon Be on the Way

The 2020 regulatory posters are in the works and should be printed very soon. The set of three posters includes information on DOT shipping descriptions, Worker Protection Standards and Restricted-Use Products. Watch for your set to arrive in the coming weeks.

Summer Applicator Training Courses - Register Today!

The Asmark Institute and AGCO have teamed up to create a training program dedicated to educating and developing new professional applicators.  The course is led by instructors, Greg Yoder and Gary Cornell, who are both seasoned professional applicators with over 75 years combined experience.

The Applicator Training Course is a four-day course specifically designed for new applicators with zero to three years experience.  The course offers hands-on training where participants learn how to start and assess a field, develop a plan to manage drift, reinforces the importance of professionalism and so much more.

Participants take part in a Ride-N-Drive exercise, which challenges them on the mile long all-weather track, which includes a bridge, narrow gateway, steep slopes, railroad crossing and a power line hazard - all in a safe and controlled environment.  The Ride-N-Drive fleet includes a TerraGator, John Deere, Case, Hagie, and a brand new 2020 "1100C" series RoGator to ensure students get a feel for different machine types and how they handle.  Take a quick spin around the track here.

Don't miss the opportunity to get your beginner applicators enrolled! Classes are limited to 21 participants and tend to fill up quickly, so register today to ensure you get the class date most convenient for your applicators.  For more information or questions, please contact Patricia at patricia@asmark.org or 270-926-4600 Ext. 234.

Snapshots Tool: Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

Accidents do happen. When they do, OSHA requires employers to prepare and maintain records of work-related injuries and illnesses. The Work-Related Injuries and Illness section on Snapshots, commonly referred to as "Mr. Ouchie",  is a recordkeeping tool to log injuries and illnesses throughout the year. Mr. Ouchie is a virtual man whose injuries are summarized visually to see quickly, at-a-glance, where your facility has recorded work-related injuries and illnesses.

At year-end, you can retrieve the OSHA 300A summary of the total work-related injuries and illnesses identified for your facility. The summary should be posted annually from February 1 to April 30 in a visible location to be viewed by all employees.

Key Components of this useful tool are:
  • Enter work-related injuries and illnesses throughout the year.
  • ESP prompts facility to review data, print and post their annual OSHA 300A Summary on February 1st each year.
  • Visualizes potential injury and illness problem areas.
  • Easy access to resources such as printable instructions, Incident Report Form 301 and related worksheets.

Fun fact: Mr. Ouchie dresses for the occasion on holidays.

Respirator Demand Surges

Fear of the coronavirus has caused a worldwide shortage of disposable respirators and now many reusables have become back-ordered as well. Supplier stocks continue to deplete and manufacturers are reporting extended lead times on most respirator supplies.  This comes at a very bad time as season is starting.  Right now, various suppliers are quoting 8-10 week lead times with large-volume requests continuing to flood in.  We do not see this issue being rectified in the short term and expect order status to continue to fluctuate. Click here to read the announcement from 3M.

CFATS Program Extended Temporarily

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program was set to expire in April, but has been temporarily extended until July 23, 2020.  The extension comes as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides emergency assistance related to the pandemic.  Have questions on CFATS?  Reach out to Dustin Warder, our Manager of Regulatory Affairs, at 270-926-4600 Ext 203 or dustin@asmark.org and he'll be happy to help.

Department of Labor Suspends Hearings Due to COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Labor has suspended all hearings until May 15, 2020 in view of the risks presented by the novel coronavirus COVID-19.  An administrative order will be issued no later than May 4, 2020 on whether hearings will continue to be suspended beyond May 15, 2020.  All procedural deadlines in cases currently pending are also suspended but it does not apply to cases not yet docketed.  Until further notice email filings are encouraged.  COVID-19 control efforts have resulted in reduced staffing at agency locations, and consequently have limited the ability to serve orders and decisions.

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.

We hope that all of our clients, partners and their families are healthy and weathering this pandemic as well as can be expected. These are unprecedented times and changes are coming swiftly.  We believe it’s more important than ever to support our clients and help ensure they have what they need to operate safely during spring season.

Here at Asmark, we are all healthy and doing our very best to follow the CDC recommendations while servicing our clients.  To ensure our team members are healthy and available to serve you, we have taken measures so that many of them can work from home. Although this comes with it's own level of difficulty, our Asmark family has done a wonderful job of pulling together the past couple of weeks and getting the work done. We take the health of our staff and their families very seriously and have put in place strict efforts in order to keep our team members well and minimize any impacts to serving our clients - so please be understanding if you hear a dog barking or kids playing in the background.  Some of our essential work cannot be done from home, so we've implemented a series of preventative health measures for those employees whose responsibilities require they be in the office to get the job done.

Thank you for your trust in us. Our relationships with our clients and partners are truly unique and we genuinely appreciate and value your business.  Please take care of yourself, your loved ones and your team.  We're going to get through this, together.

Agriculture Recognized as Essential Critical Infrastructure by DHS

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated agriculture essential to continued critical infrastructure viability.  Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure workforce was issued on March 19th and states "If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule."  Highlights include workers listed in the sectors of Food and Agriculture, Transportation and Logistics, Critical Manufacturing and Chemical.

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, this should allow agricultural retailers to continue operating as usual amid current and potential restrictions created to stop the spread of the virus.  This designation is extremely timely for the upcoming planting season.

Asmark Institute is providing a template that can be printed on your company letterhead and edited with your company-specific information for your employee's to carry with them.  This document, if needed, will inform law enforcement that the individual bearing the document is an employee of, and traveling to or from work, in an essential critical infrastructure sector.  If you have any questions or trouble downloading the word document template, please give us a call at 270-926-4600 Ext 506.

FMCSA Issues Waiver in Response to COVID-19

FMCSA has issued a waiver in response to COVID-19 outbreaks as several states are experiencing employee absences or have closed offices.  As a result, many drivers are unable to renew their CDLs or are unable to provide medical certificates.  In addition, many medical providers nationwide have canceled appointments to dedicate resources to the COVID-19 response.  As a result, drivers are unable to obtain physicals to comply with the regulations.

Among the provisions, this waiver extends the expiration of CDLs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020 until June 30, 2020.  It also waives the requirement that drivers have a medical examination and certification, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification that expired on or after March 1, 2020.  Drivers claiming relief under this waiver must carry a paper copy of their expired medical certificate.  Click here to review the terms, conditions and restrictions of the waiver.

Asmark will not be disqualifying drivers based on expired licenses or medicals that fall within the specified time frame of the waiver.  However, the driver will be marked as "Attention Needed" so the expired license and/or medical remains on the radar to ensure they handle the renewal once the extension period ends.  This will be indicated on both Snapshots and the monthly status reports.

If you have questions, please reach out to our Customer Service Team at 270-926-4600 Ext 506 or customerservice@asmark.org.

DOT Provides Guidance on Compliance with Drug & Alcohol Testing Regulations

DOT recognizes that we are facing an unprecedented public health emergency that is straining medical resources and altering aspects of American life, including the workplace.  During this time compliance may not be possible in certain areas such as drug and alcohol testing requirements due to the unavailability of program resources.  You should make a reasonable effort to locate the necessary resources.  As a best practice at this time, employers should consider mobile collection services for required testing if the fixed-site collection facilities are not available.

If you are unable to conduct DOT drug or alcohol training or testing due to COVID-19-related supply shortages, facility closures or imposed quarantine requirements, you should document why a test was not completed. If training or testing can be conducted later (e.g., supervisor reasonable suspicion training at the next available opportunity, random testing later in the selection period, follow-up testing later in the month), you are to do so in accordance with the applicable regulations.  For example, without a "negative" pre-employment drug test result, an employer may not permit a prospective or current employee to perform any DOT safety-sensitive functions.

Additionally, DOT is aware that some employees have expressed concern about potential public health risks associated with the collection and testing processes.  It is the employer’s responsibility to evaluate the circumstances of the employee’s refusal to test and determine whether or not it should be considered a refusal.  However, as the COVID-19 outbreak poses a novel public health risk, DOT asks employers to be sensitive to employees who indicate they are not comfortable or are afraid to go to clinics or collection sites. For more information, click here to read the official guidance issued.

CVSA Postpones International Roadcheck

Every year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) sets inspection and enforcement initiatives, such as International Roadcheck, which was scheduled for May 5-7. However, with public health and safety as its top concern, CVSA has decided to postpone International Roadcheck to later in the year.

The Alliance will monitor the status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and select the new dates when it’s safe and reasonable to do so. Once the rescheduled dates have been selected, we will pass along the information.

DOT & EPA AG Course - Summer Registration Now Open!

Registration for the 2020 Summer DOT & EPA AG Course, is now open.  The three day course, led by Dustin Warder, Manager of Regulatory Affairs for the Asmark Institute, provides a "facilitated training experience" using a combination of classroom lectures, scenarios and hands-on exercises.  Experience shows our clients simply have an easier time with compliance issues when they understand how the regulations came about and what the agency expects of them.

The training is conducted at the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture in Owensboro, KY, a retired agrichemical facility specifically designed and retrofitted for training purposes.  The facility is one huge "prop," used in the course to reinforce the learning process and help to familiarize the participants with the practical application of the DOT and EPA regulations.  Discover how the agencies work and what violations they impose that can adversely affect your company.  Participants will learn how to assess their organization's level of compliance and utilize safety-audit tools to significantly reduce, and potentially eliminate, accidents and violations.

Class is limited to 24 participants, so register today.  To register click here.  For more information or questions please contact, Patricia at patricia@asmark.org or 270-926-4600 Ext. 234.

2020 Regulatory Posters Delayed...But Will Soon Be on the Way

The 2020 regulatory posters are in the works and should be printed very soon. The set of three posters includes information on DOT shipping descriptions, Worker Protection Standards and Restricted-Use Products. Watch for your set to arrive in the coming weeks.

Summer Applicator Training Courses - Register Today!

The Asmark Institute and AGCO have teamed up to create a training program dedicated to educating and developing new professional applicators.  The course is led by instructors, Greg Yoder and Gary Cornell, who are both seasoned professional applicators with over 75 years combined experience.

The Applicator Training Course is a four-day course specifically designed for new applicators with zero to three years experience.  The course offers hands-on training where participants learn how to start and assess a field, develop a plan to manage drift, reinforces the importance of professionalism and so much more.

Participants take part in a Ride-N-Drive exercise, which challenges them on the mile long all-weather track, which includes a bridge, narrow gateway, steep slopes, railroad crossing and a power line hazard - all in a safe and controlled environment.  The Ride-N-Drive fleet includes a TerraGator, John Deere, Case, Hagie, and a brand new 2020 "1100C" series RoGator to ensure students get a feel for different machine types and how they handle.  Take a quick spin around the track here.

Don't miss the opportunity to get your beginner applicators enrolled! Classes are limited to 21 participants and tend to fill up quickly, so register today to ensure you get the class date most convenient for your applicators.  For more information or questions, please contact Patricia at patricia@asmark.org or 270-926-4600 Ext. 234.

Snapshots Tool: Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

Accidents do happen. When they do, OSHA requires employers to prepare and maintain records of work-related injuries and illnesses. The Work-Related Injuries and Illness section on Snapshots, commonly referred to as "Mr. Ouchie",  is a recordkeeping tool to log injuries and illnesses throughout the year. Mr. Ouchie is a virtual man whose injuries are summarized visually to see quickly, at-a-glance, where your facility has recorded work-related injuries and illnesses.

At year-end, you can retrieve the OSHA 300A summary of the total work-related injuries and illnesses identified for your facility. The summary should be posted annually from February 1 to April 30 in a visible location to be viewed by all employees.

Key Components of this useful tool are:
  • Enter work-related injuries and illnesses throughout the year.
  • ESP prompts facility to review data, print and post their annual OSHA 300A Summary on February 1st each year.
  • Visualizes potential injury and illness problem areas.
  • Easy access to resources such as printable instructions, Incident Report Form 301 and related worksheets.

Fun fact: Mr. Ouchie dresses for the occasion on holidays.

Respirator Demand Surges

Fear of the coronavirus has caused a worldwide shortage of disposable respirators and now many reusables have become back-ordered as well. Supplier stocks continue to deplete and manufacturers are reporting extended lead times on most respirator supplies.  This comes at a very bad time as season is starting.  Right now, various suppliers are quoting 8-10 week lead times with large-volume requests continuing to flood in.  We do not see this issue being rectified in the short term and expect order status to continue to fluctuate. Click here to read the announcement from 3M.

CFATS Program Extended Temporarily

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program was set to expire in April, but has been temporarily extended until July 23, 2020.  The extension comes as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides emergency assistance related to the pandemic.  Have questions on CFATS?  Reach out to Dustin Warder, our Manager of Regulatory Affairs, at 270-926-4600 Ext 203 or dustin@asmark.org and he'll be happy to help.

Department of Labor Suspends Hearings Due to COVID-19

The U.S. Department of Labor has suspended all hearings until May 15, 2020 in view of the risks presented by the novel coronavirus COVID-19.  An administrative order will be issued no later than May 4, 2020 on whether hearings will continue to be suspended beyond May 15, 2020.  All procedural deadlines in cases currently pending are also suspended but it does not apply to cases not yet docketed.  Until further notice email filings are encouraged.  COVID-19 control efforts have resulted in reduced staffing at agency locations, and consequently have limited the ability to serve orders and decisions.

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.
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.