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Newsletter
Volume 203
October 1, 2020

Growing Up All Things Asmark 

She's been around since the days of VHS training, respirator fit testing being conducted inside a tent and every compliance visit being done in person.  Now, Sara Fulkerson is part of the IT team here at Asmark, handling many of the data processes that affect our clients on a daily basis.  She plays an integral part in designing the interfaces that work between the actual data being submitted on the website by the facility and our internal departments.  She has been instrumental in bridging the gap between the old way of filing SARA Tier IIs with the states and the new way using Asmark + Encamp.  Most recently she developed a new database called 3D-Connect, which allows us to service your account more efficiently and timely.  When a facility calls into the office, the system is able to connect the caller's phone number with their account, making your information readily available so that we can help you quicker.

Sara has been around the ag business since she was born on September 11, 1993.  She is the daughter of our company's founders and previous owners, Allen and Susan Summers, and as long as she can remember has helped around the office in one way or another.  From an early age, she helped ship SDS manuals and products, did outdoor maintenance (watered flowers, cut overgrown grasses, planted new shrubs), stacked up pallets of copy paper and watched Barney videos in the conference room. As she grew up and went off to school, she continued to occasionally help around the office with HandiPlans, Add-A-Plant care packages and DVD exchanges, until officially becoming a part of the Asmark family as part of the IT team in May 2015.

Sara is also a member of the 'Creative Team' and has played a significant role in designing the desk pad calendars for the last few years.  She has also designed two of the last four tradeshow trucks and is the artist who created the scenes on our glass Christmas ornaments. You will often find her behind the camera lens, as Asmark's resident photographer.  She is married to Isaac Fulkerson, who is also part of the Asmark family, and together they just finished designing and building their new home. As Sara has grown, so have her responsibilities and role at Asmark.  We look forward to many more years of watching her flourish and utilizing her talents!

Asmark On Demand Huge Hit with Beta Test Group
During the past month, a number of facilities have participated in the Beta Test Group streaming training videos from Asmark On Demand for their monthly safety meetings and for training new employees. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and also proven to be helpful in leading to a successful launch of the new service in mid-October.  While beta-testing has only included Roku up to this point, Asmark On Demand will be available on both Roku and Fire TV platforms. Both will enable clients to stream training videos at a higher image quality than the DVDs and eliminate the annual DVD exchange.

Plans are to allow clients to enroll in a free trial of the new service during this year's annual compliance visit and use it until after the 2021 spring season.  The goal of the trial is to allow clients to use the new service for an extended period of time to determine if it is a good fit for their facility before returning their set of DVDs. Stay tuned and keep an eye out for the opportunity to sign up for this new service during this year's Compliance Wizard!

DOT Extends Waiver Until the End of the Year

DOT has extended the waiver for expiring Commercial Driver's Licenses (CDLs) and permits, as well as Non-CDL licenses for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, until December 31, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Some CMV drivers have been unable to renew their licenses and are unable to provide medical certificates to their State Driver Licensing Agencies.  In addition, many medical providers have cancelled regularly scheduled appointments and drivers have been unable to obtain appointments for physical examinations with medical examiners who comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. 

Drivers claiming relief under this waiver must continue to carry a paper copy of their expired medical certificate.  Asmark will continue to mark drivers that fall within the specified timeframe of the waiver as "Attention Needed" on both Snapshots and the monthly status reports.  If your physician is accepting appointments, please don't wait until the last minute to get your records updated. 

Wallet Cards  - Great Resource for New and Seasonal Employees!

With Fall season upon us, Emergency Contact Wallet Cards are a great resource for employees, especially new or seasonal, who may not know who to contact if they are involved in an incident while off-site.  Create and personalize wallet cards for your office personnel using one of two formats - Standard or Custom.

For the 'Standard' wallet cards, the Emergency Contacts information from your current Handi-Plan will be pre-populated for your review where you can update as needed.  The 'Custom' cards allow you to create and customize information for your employees, which can include emergency personnel as well as additional facility contacts.  Keep in mind, "what you see is what you get," when customizing so you'll want to review the information closely before submitting your order.

These convenient sized cards easily fit into a wallet or shirt pocket making them easy to keep on hand.  They are printed on white 20 mil PVC cards.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our Customer Service Team at 270-926-4600 Ext 506 or customerservice@asmark.org.

Pilot Program for Younger Drivers Announced

DOT has announced that it is proposing and seeking public comments on a new pilot program to allow 18 to 20-year-old commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce.  Under the proposed pilot, the drivers must take part in a 120-hour probationary period and a subsequent 280-hour probationary period.  

This must be done under an apprenticeship program established by an employer or be 19-20 year-old drivers who have operated CMVs in intrastate commerce for a minimum of one year and 25,000 miles.  The study group drivers would not be allowed to operate vehicles hauling passengers or hazardous materials or special configuration vehicles.  Click here for more information on the proposal.

OSHA Conducts the Most Inspections Since 2015

OSHA posted its 2019 Enforcement Summary, which highlights the Agency's inspection statistics. The data shows an uptick of both programmed and unprogrammed inspections. In fiscal year (FY) 2019, OSHA conducted 33,393 inspections, including 18,493 (about 55 percent) unprogrammed inspections, which includes employee complaints, injuries/fatalities and referrals. 

The high percentage of unprogrammed inspections indicates that OSHA continues to devote considerable resources responding to referrals and complaints. Of the 33,393 inspections, 14,900 (about 45 percent) were programmed inspections. Programmed inspections focus OSHA’s enforcement resources towards the industries and operations where known hazards exist (e.g., combustible dusts, chemical processing).

OSHA Inspection Statistics FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019
Total Inspections 36,163** 35,820 31,948 32,408 32,023 33,393
Total Programmed Inspections 19,222 16,527 12,731 14,377 13,956 14,900
Total Unprogrammed Inspections 16,941 19,293 19,217 18,031 18,067 18,493
~ Fatality/Catastrophe Inspections 850 912 890 837 941 919
~ Complaints Inspection 9,570 9,037 8,870 8,249 7,489 7,391
~ Referrals* 3,829 6,569 6,691 6,286 6,463 6,718
~ Other Unprogrammed Inspections 2,525 3,686 2,766 2,659 3,174 3,465
*As of FY 2015 referral inspections encompass all sub-types of referrals such as those received from compliance safety and health officers, safety and health agencies, other city/county/state/federal governments, media, and employer-reported.
** The October 2013 Government shutdown occurred during this time.

ResponsibleAg  - Committed. Compliant. Safe.

Over 2,570 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program.  Nearly 1,300 are currently certified, many of which are in their second cycle becoming re-certified.  We encourage you to visit responsibleag.org to learn more and see the list of participating members.  Click here to read why your peers are in the program.  If you aren't registered, don't delay  - register today!

ResponsibleAg is an industry-led initiative committed to helping agribusinesses properly store and handle farm input supplies.  The program helps members ensure they are compliant with environmental, health, safety and security regulations to keep employees, customers and our communities safe.

EPA Concludes Registration Review of Triazines

EPA has released interim registration review decisions for atrazine, propazine and simazine. With this action EPA is finalizing new, stronger protections for both human health and the environment.  Health protections include reduced application rates for turf applications and additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  Look for updated glove statements and for respirators to be required for workers who apply the products.  

Environmental protections include adding mandatory spray drift reduction language and herbicide resistance management language to the label requirements.  Each registered pesticide must be re-reviewed every 15 years, so EPA will complete the next round of registration reviews for these products by 2035.

Do You Know Why There is a Federal Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Program?

Prior to 1986, states had their own driving requirements for drivers of commercial motor vehicles.  Drivers were able to obtain multiple state driver's licenses allowing some to continue operating with a conviction from another state.  Due to increases in accidents and fatalities, the federal government passed the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986.  This act created the Commercial Driver's License (CDL) program, which set minimum standards for obtaining CDLs in all states, making it illegal to hold multiple state driver's licenses.  Today, the United States has over 3.5 million commercial motor vehicle drivers transporting cargo over 304 billion miles on the highways every year.

CDL Number Added to Federal Drug Testing Form

DOT has announced that a revised Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF) is approved for use.  One of the updates in the new CCF is the addition of “CDL State and No.” to the line that captures donor identification information. Including a driver’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) number and State of issuance for all DOT-regulated tests will greatly assist medical review officers (MROs) in reporting violations in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.  The old CCF can be used until August 30, 2021 to allow existing supplies to be depleted.

Pilot Program to Allow Pausing the 14-Hour Driving Window

DOT has proposed a pilot program to allow temporary regulatory relief from the hours-of-service requirement that all driving by drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) be completed within 14 hours after coming on duty.  During the pilot program, known as the Split Duty Period Pilot Program, participating CMV drivers would have the option to pause their 14-hour on-duty period (also called a driving window) with one off-duty period of no less than 30 minutes and no more than 3 hours.  

Participation would be limited to a certain number of commercial driver's license holders who meet the criteria specified for participation.  This pilot program seeks to gather statistically reliable evidence whether decisions concerning the timing of such flexibility can be aligned with employers', shippers' and receivers' scheduling preferences to optimize productivity while ensuring safety. 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. 

Growing Up All Things Asmark 

She's been around since the days of VHS training, respirator fit testing being conducted inside a tent and every compliance visit being done in person.  Now, Sara Fulkerson is part of the IT team here at Asmark, handling many of the data processes that affect our clients on a daily basis.  She plays an integral part in designing the interfaces that work between the actual data being submitted on the website by the facility and our internal departments.  She has been instrumental in bridging the gap between the old way of filing SARA Tier IIs with the states and the new way using Asmark + Encamp.  Most recently she developed a new database called 3D-Connect, which allows us to service your account more efficiently and timely.  When a facility calls into the office, the system is able to connect the caller's phone number with their account, making your information readily available so that we can help you quicker.

Sara has been around the ag business since she was born on September 11, 1993.  She is the daughter of our company's founders and previous owners, Allen and Susan Summers, and as long as she can remember has helped around the office in one way or another.  From an early age, she helped ship SDS manuals and products, did outdoor maintenance (watered flowers, cut overgrown grasses, planted new shrubs), stacked up pallets of copy paper and watched Barney videos in the conference room. As she grew up and went off to school, she continued to occasionally help around the office with HandiPlans, Add-A-Plant care packages and DVD exchanges, until officially becoming a part of the Asmark family as part of the IT team in May 2015.

Sara is also a member of the 'Creative Team' and has played a significant role in designing the desk pad calendars for the last few years.  She has also designed two of the last four tradeshow trucks and is the artist who created the scenes on our glass Christmas ornaments. You will often find her behind the camera lens, as Asmark's resident photographer.  She is married to Isaac Fulkerson, who is also part of the Asmark family, and together they just finished designing and building their new home. As Sara has grown, so have her responsibilities and role at Asmark.  We look forward to many more years of watching her flourish and utilizing her talents!

Asmark On Demand Huge Hit with Beta Test Group
During the past month, a number of facilities have participated in the Beta Test Group streaming training videos from Asmark On Demand for their monthly safety meetings and for training new employees. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and also proven to be helpful in leading to a successful launch of the new service in mid-October.  While beta-testing has only included Roku up to this point, Asmark On Demand will be available on both Roku and Fire TV platforms. Both will enable clients to stream training videos at a higher image quality than the DVDs and eliminate the annual DVD exchange.

Plans are to allow clients to enroll in a free trial of the new service during this year's annual compliance visit and use it until after the 2021 spring season.  The goal of the trial is to allow clients to use the new service for an extended period of time to determine if it is a good fit for their facility before returning their set of DVDs. Stay tuned and keep an eye out for the opportunity to sign up for this new service during this year's Compliance Wizard!

DOT Extends Waiver Until the End of the Year

DOT has extended the waiver for expiring Commercial Driver's Licenses (CDLs) and permits, as well as Non-CDL licenses for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, until December 31, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Some CMV drivers have been unable to renew their licenses and are unable to provide medical certificates to their State Driver Licensing Agencies.  In addition, many medical providers have cancelled regularly scheduled appointments and drivers have been unable to obtain appointments for physical examinations with medical examiners who comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. 

Drivers claiming relief under this waiver must continue to carry a paper copy of their expired medical certificate.  Asmark will continue to mark drivers that fall within the specified timeframe of the waiver as "Attention Needed" on both Snapshots and the monthly status reports.  If your physician is accepting appointments, please don't wait until the last minute to get your records updated. 

Wallet Cards  - Great Resource for New and Seasonal Employees!

With Fall season upon us, Emergency Contact Wallet Cards are a great resource for employees, especially new or seasonal, who may not know who to contact if they are involved in an incident while off-site.  Create and personalize wallet cards for your office personnel using one of two formats - Standard or Custom.

For the 'Standard' wallet cards, the Emergency Contacts information from your current Handi-Plan will be pre-populated for your review where you can update as needed.  The 'Custom' cards allow you to create and customize information for your employees, which can include emergency personnel as well as additional facility contacts.  Keep in mind, "what you see is what you get," when customizing so you'll want to review the information closely before submitting your order.

These convenient sized cards easily fit into a wallet or shirt pocket making them easy to keep on hand.  They are printed on white 20 mil PVC cards.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our Customer Service Team at 270-926-4600 Ext 506 or customerservice@asmark.org.

Pilot Program for Younger Drivers Announced

DOT has announced that it is proposing and seeking public comments on a new pilot program to allow 18 to 20-year-old commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce.  Under the proposed pilot, the drivers must take part in a 120-hour probationary period and a subsequent 280-hour probationary period.  

This must be done under an apprenticeship program established by an employer or be 19-20 year-old drivers who have operated CMVs in intrastate commerce for a minimum of one year and 25,000 miles.  The study group drivers would not be allowed to operate vehicles hauling passengers or hazardous materials or special configuration vehicles.  Click here for more information on the proposal.

OSHA Conducts the Most Inspections Since 2015

OSHA posted its 2019 Enforcement Summary, which highlights the Agency's inspection statistics. The data shows an uptick of both programmed and unprogrammed inspections. In fiscal year (FY) 2019, OSHA conducted 33,393 inspections, including 18,493 (about 55 percent) unprogrammed inspections, which includes employee complaints, injuries/fatalities and referrals. 

The high percentage of unprogrammed inspections indicates that OSHA continues to devote considerable resources responding to referrals and complaints. Of the 33,393 inspections, 14,900 (about 45 percent) were programmed inspections. Programmed inspections focus OSHA’s enforcement resources towards the industries and operations where known hazards exist (e.g., combustible dusts, chemical processing).

OSHA Inspection Statistics FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019
Total Inspections 36,163** 35,820 31,948 32,408 32,023 33,393
Total Programmed Inspections 19,222 16,527 12,731 14,377 13,956 14,900
Total Unprogrammed Inspections 16,941 19,293 19,217 18,031 18,067 18,493
~ Fatality/Catastrophe Inspections 850 912 890 837 941 919
~ Complaints Inspection 9,570 9,037 8,870 8,249 7,489 7,391
~ Referrals* 3,829 6,569 6,691 6,286 6,463 6,718
~ Other Unprogrammed Inspections 2,525 3,686 2,766 2,659 3,174 3,465
*As of FY 2015 referral inspections encompass all sub-types of referrals such as those received from compliance safety and health officers, safety and health agencies, other city/county/state/federal governments, media, and employer-reported.
** The October 2013 Government shutdown occurred during this time.

ResponsibleAg  - Committed. Compliant. Safe.

Over 2,570 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program.  Nearly 1,300 are currently certified, many of which are in their second cycle becoming re-certified.  We encourage you to visit responsibleag.org to learn more and see the list of participating members.  Click here to read why your peers are in the program.  If you aren't registered, don't delay  - register today!

ResponsibleAg is an industry-led initiative committed to helping agribusinesses properly store and handle farm input supplies.  The program helps members ensure they are compliant with environmental, health, safety and security regulations to keep employees, customers and our communities safe.

EPA Concludes Registration Review of Triazines

EPA has released interim registration review decisions for atrazine, propazine and simazine. With this action EPA is finalizing new, stronger protections for both human health and the environment.  Health protections include reduced application rates for turf applications and additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  Look for updated glove statements and for respirators to be required for workers who apply the products.  

Environmental protections include adding mandatory spray drift reduction language and herbicide resistance management language to the label requirements.  Each registered pesticide must be re-reviewed every 15 years, so EPA will complete the next round of registration reviews for these products by 2035.

Do You Know Why There is a Federal Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Program?

Prior to 1986, states had their own driving requirements for drivers of commercial motor vehicles.  Drivers were able to obtain multiple state driver's licenses allowing some to continue operating with a conviction from another state.  Due to increases in accidents and fatalities, the federal government passed the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986.  This act created the Commercial Driver's License (CDL) program, which set minimum standards for obtaining CDLs in all states, making it illegal to hold multiple state driver's licenses.  Today, the United States has over 3.5 million commercial motor vehicle drivers transporting cargo over 304 billion miles on the highways every year.

CDL Number Added to Federal Drug Testing Form

DOT has announced that a revised Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF) is approved for use.  One of the updates in the new CCF is the addition of “CDL State and No.” to the line that captures donor identification information. Including a driver’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) number and State of issuance for all DOT-regulated tests will greatly assist medical review officers (MROs) in reporting violations in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.  The old CCF can be used until August 30, 2021 to allow existing supplies to be depleted.

Pilot Program to Allow Pausing the 14-Hour Driving Window

DOT has proposed a pilot program to allow temporary regulatory relief from the hours-of-service requirement that all driving by drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) be completed within 14 hours after coming on duty.  During the pilot program, known as the Split Duty Period Pilot Program, participating CMV drivers would have the option to pause their 14-hour on-duty period (also called a driving window) with one off-duty period of no less than 30 minutes and no more than 3 hours.  

Participation would be limited to a certain number of commercial driver's license holders who meet the criteria specified for participation.  This pilot program seeks to gather statistically reliable evidence whether decisions concerning the timing of such flexibility can be aligned with employers', shippers' and receivers' scheduling preferences to optimize productivity while ensuring safety. 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. 
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.