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Newsletter
Volume 209
April 1, 2021

Jean Payne Retires from IFCA

After 23 years of an amazing career in service to the agricultural industry, Jean Payne has officially retired as President of the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association (IFCA).  At the Asmark Institute, we are thankful for the relationship we have shared with Jean over the years and congratulate her on her retirement.  She has been a friend, colleague and served as an Asmark Institute board member since its inception in 2005, and her contributions have been invaluable.

Over the years, Jean has been a big advocate of Asmark and safety training, and she helped bring life to both the Asmark Agricenter and Applicator Training Center and Courses that exist on the same property today as the IFCA office.  Our relationship has resulted in outstanding ammonia, applicator and grain training courses, conducted at our state-of-the-art facilities on our campus in Bloomington, IL.  Her forward-thinking vision has always put her a step ahead, in working proactively for the IFCA organization, their members, industry colleagues and government agencies.

All of us at the Asmark Institute wish Jean and Rae a life full of happiness and laughter as they take on their next adventure together!

ResponsibleAg Webinar - Benefits of Participation

On April 8th at 2:00 pm EDT, you are invited to join the webinar, How ResponsibleAg Can Help You - Safety, Security and Saving Money, hosted in partnership by the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI).  Billy Pirkle, Vice President of Corporate Services for Novus Ag and current Chair of the ResponsibleAg Technical Committee, and Brian Miller, President of Miller Risk Management and lead ResponsibleAg auditor training course instructor, will share their knowledge of the initiative and its benefits to your business.

Register for the webinar today so that you can be prepared for any regulatory changes and benefit whether changes occur or not.

Arriving Soon! 2021 Regulatory Posters

The 2021 regulatory posters are being printed now and will be heading out to our clients very soon.  The set of three posters includes information on DOT shipping descriptions, Restricted-Use Products and Worker Protection Standards.  Watch for your set to arrive in the coming weeks.
Lucky #7, Luck of the Irish, Lucky Asmark
Seven years ago, on March 17th (St. Patrick's Day), Asmark struck gold as Tia Rusher became part of the Asmark team.  Like other employees at Asmark, Tia fulfills several roles throughout her day, but her primary responsibility is handling all New Hires/Re-Hires as they are entered through the website portal for background checks, drug testing and FMCSA Clearinghouse queries.  During peak busy season, Tia processes over 150 hires a day - 1,000 per week - where they are touched coming in and/or going out.  Tia leaves no stone unturned, as she works diligently to get them processed and headed to the facilities as quickly as possible.

In addition to her New Hire/Rehire responsibilities, she also maintains our filing vaults, setting up new files, maintaining client account files, license agreements, and updating information as needed.  She also handles producing and posting Security Vulnerability Assessments (SVAs) as they are submitted on the website.  During the Annual Compliance Season, Tia helps with printing the 14,000+ HandiPlans that are ordered through the Compliance Wizard.  During the summer months when New Hires have slowed down, she is also the lead converter on the Safety Data Sheets conversion team, where newly revised Safety Data Sheets are updated and placed into a three-column format to be included in the next year's SDS Manual.  When she has any extra down time, you might also find her assisting the Driver File Department as needed.

Tia holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and has a passion for weightlifting, frequently working out on her lunch hour, where you might find her deadlifting around 300 lbs.  In 2017, Tia and her husband Tony were married in a small ceremony and then headed to Ireland to celebrate their honeymoon, so there is no doubt a touch of the Irish is always with her. They have a two-year old daughter, Savannah, and two dogs, Rufus and Xander, who round out their family.  Someone once said, "Luck is when an opportunity comes along and you're prepared for it," and Asmark has been very fortunate that Tia came along when she did and became part of the Asmark family.  We wish her a very Happy "7 Year" Anniversary!

Don't Forget Your Seasonal Employees!

Friendly Reminder!  With warmer weather and Spring busy season upon us, whether you are hiring a new or seasonal employee who has worked for you previously, be sure to take a minute and enter them through the New Hire/Re-hire process on our website.  It's more important than ever to ensure your employees are properly trained before starting to work, and providing the proper training and qualifications for each employee promotes a safe work environment for all.  The New Hire/Re-Hire process creates personalized kits based on each employees work duties/tasks, and are designed to meet OSHA, EPA & DOT requirements.

At the heart of our employee tracking system are three databases that contain the results for each employee that passes through our system - Drivers, Respirator and Training.  By tracking these results, we are able to provide research capabilities that help eliminate unnecessary paperwork in a hire's kit.

A re-hired employee is given credit for
  • any training that has not expired,
  • driver qualification forms,
  • current respirator forms,
  • and other certifications that have already been completed.
The goal being to only provide the documents that are required and must be filled out.

If you have questions or need assistance, please feel free to give us a call at 270-926-4600 and we'll be happy to help.

Grace Period Ends for CSB Reporting Rule

The accidental release reporting rule, requiring employers to report certain chemical incidents to the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) that was effective last Spring, hits its first anniversary.  This serves as a good time for a reminder that the owner or operator of a stationary source must report any accidental release resulting in a death, serious injury, or substantial property damage.

The submission of a report to the National Response Center (NRC) under other laws does not satisfy the CSB's reporting requirement, but it can be satisfied by submitting the NRC identification number to the CSB within 30 minutes of submitting a report to the NRC.  If the facility has not submitted a report to the NRC and then notified CSB, the facility must submit a report directly to CSB within 8 hours of the accidental release.  Reporting can be submitted by downloading the reporting form and emailing it to the CSB or by calling 202-261-7600.

Making Ideas Happen

Asmark's IT Team is second to none in taking a great idea and figuring out a way to make it happen.  These great ideas can come from anywhere, which was the case with Kathy Dollhopf with Nutrien Ag Solutions in Gladstone, MI.  Kathy came up with an idea and made the suggestion to add the Section number to the title of the Master Document on the electronic Compliance Manual webpage.  The goal was to make it easier to search for specific information in a particular section of the master documents.  The idea was passed along to our IT Team once we determined it could be done, where they worked to make it happen and added the new feature to the website.

We are always appreciative of our clients' ideas and strive to make them happen when reasonable and possible. Especially when those ideas help all of our clients. Many thanks to Kathy for suggesting this great idea and to our IT Team for turning it into a reality!

No Fatalities from Grain Dust Explosions in 2020

Purdue University recently released the 2020 annual grain dust explosions report that catalogues the number of deaths and injuries nationwide.  According to the report, there were eight-grain dust explosions in 2020, resulting in zero fatalities and nine injuries.  The 10-year average for injuries is 8.1; for fatalities it is 1.7.  The grain types identified in the explosions included two cases of corn, two wheat, two mixed feed, one rice and one dietary fiber.  Dust explosions occurred in eight different states, one each in Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, Nebraska, Missouri and Arkansas.  Four of these explosions occurred in a grain elevator, and the remaining four in a feed mill, corn mill, rice mill and grain processor for dietary fiber.  Click here to read the full report.

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.

Jean Payne Retires from IFCA

After 23 years of an amazing career in service to the agricultural industry, Jean Payne has officially retired as President of the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association (IFCA).  At the Asmark Institute, we are thankful for the relationship we have shared with Jean over the years and congratulate her on her retirement.  She has been a friend, colleague and served as an Asmark Institute board member since its inception in 2005, and her contributions have been invaluable.

Over the years, Jean has been a big advocate of Asmark and safety training, and she helped bring life to both the Asmark Agricenter and Applicator Training Center and Courses that exist on the same property today as the IFCA office.  Our relationship has resulted in outstanding ammonia, applicator and grain training courses, conducted at our state-of-the-art facilities on our campus in Bloomington, IL.  Her forward-thinking vision has always put her a step ahead, in working proactively for the IFCA organization, their members, industry colleagues and government agencies.

All of us at the Asmark Institute wish Jean and Rae a life full of happiness and laughter as they take on their next adventure together!

ResponsibleAg Webinar - Benefits of Participation

On April 8th at 2:00 pm EDT, you are invited to join the webinar, How ResponsibleAg Can Help You - Safety, Security and Saving Money, hosted in partnership by the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI).  Billy Pirkle, Vice President of Corporate Services for Novus Ag and current Chair of the ResponsibleAg Technical Committee, and Brian Miller, President of Miller Risk Management and lead ResponsibleAg auditor training course instructor, will share their knowledge of the initiative and its benefits to your business.

Register for the webinar today so that you can be prepared for any regulatory changes and benefit whether changes occur or not.

Arriving Soon! 2021 Regulatory Posters

The 2021 regulatory posters are being printed now and will be heading out to our clients very soon.  The set of three posters includes information on DOT shipping descriptions, Restricted-Use Products and Worker Protection Standards.  Watch for your set to arrive in the coming weeks.
Lucky #7, Luck of the Irish, Lucky Asmark
Seven years ago, on March 17th (St. Patrick's Day), Asmark struck gold as Tia Rusher became part of the Asmark team.  Like other employees at Asmark, Tia fulfills several roles throughout her day, but her primary responsibility is handling all New Hires/Re-Hires as they are entered through the website portal for background checks, drug testing and FMCSA Clearinghouse queries.  During peak busy season, Tia processes over 150 hires a day - 1,000 per week - where they are touched coming in and/or going out.  Tia leaves no stone unturned, as she works diligently to get them processed and headed to the facilities as quickly as possible.

In addition to her New Hire/Rehire responsibilities, she also maintains our filing vaults, setting up new files, maintaining client account files, license agreements, and updating information as needed.  She also handles producing and posting Security Vulnerability Assessments (SVAs) as they are submitted on the website.  During the Annual Compliance Season, Tia helps with printing the 14,000+ HandiPlans that are ordered through the Compliance Wizard.  During the summer months when New Hires have slowed down, she is also the lead converter on the Safety Data Sheets conversion team, where newly revised Safety Data Sheets are updated and placed into a three-column format to be included in the next year's SDS Manual.  When she has any extra down time, you might also find her assisting the Driver File Department as needed.

Tia holds a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and has a passion for weightlifting, frequently working out on her lunch hour, where you might find her deadlifting around 300 lbs.  In 2017, Tia and her husband Tony were married in a small ceremony and then headed to Ireland to celebrate their honeymoon, so there is no doubt a touch of the Irish is always with her. They have a two-year old daughter, Savannah, and two dogs, Rufus and Xander, who round out their family.  Someone once said, "Luck is when an opportunity comes along and you're prepared for it," and Asmark has been very fortunate that Tia came along when she did and became part of the Asmark family.  We wish her a very Happy "7 Year" Anniversary!

Don't Forget Your Seasonal Employees!

Friendly Reminder!  With warmer weather and Spring busy season upon us, whether you are hiring a new or seasonal employee who has worked for you previously, be sure to take a minute and enter them through the New Hire/Re-hire process on our website.  It's more important than ever to ensure your employees are properly trained before starting to work, and providing the proper training and qualifications for each employee promotes a safe work environment for all.  The New Hire/Re-Hire process creates personalized kits based on each employees work duties/tasks, and are designed to meet OSHA, EPA & DOT requirements.

At the heart of our employee tracking system are three databases that contain the results for each employee that passes through our system - Drivers, Respirator and Training.  By tracking these results, we are able to provide research capabilities that help eliminate unnecessary paperwork in a hire's kit.

A re-hired employee is given credit for
  • any training that has not expired,
  • driver qualification forms,
  • current respirator forms,
  • and other certifications that have already been completed.
The goal being to only provide the documents that are required and must be filled out.

If you have questions or need assistance, please feel free to give us a call at 270-926-4600 and we'll be happy to help.

Grace Period Ends for CSB Reporting Rule

The accidental release reporting rule, requiring employers to report certain chemical incidents to the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) that was effective last Spring, hits its first anniversary.  This serves as a good time for a reminder that the owner or operator of a stationary source must report any accidental release resulting in a death, serious injury, or substantial property damage.

The submission of a report to the National Response Center (NRC) under other laws does not satisfy the CSB's reporting requirement, but it can be satisfied by submitting the NRC identification number to the CSB within 30 minutes of submitting a report to the NRC.  If the facility has not submitted a report to the NRC and then notified CSB, the facility must submit a report directly to CSB within 8 hours of the accidental release.  Reporting can be submitted by downloading the reporting form and emailing it to the CSB or by calling 202-261-7600.

Making Ideas Happen

Asmark's IT Team is second to none in taking a great idea and figuring out a way to make it happen.  These great ideas can come from anywhere, which was the case with Kathy Dollhopf with Nutrien Ag Solutions in Gladstone, MI.  Kathy came up with an idea and made the suggestion to add the Section number to the title of the Master Document on the electronic Compliance Manual webpage.  The goal was to make it easier to search for specific information in a particular section of the master documents.  The idea was passed along to our IT Team once we determined it could be done, where they worked to make it happen and added the new feature to the website.

We are always appreciative of our clients' ideas and strive to make them happen when reasonable and possible. Especially when those ideas help all of our clients. Many thanks to Kathy for suggesting this great idea and to our IT Team for turning it into a reality!

No Fatalities from Grain Dust Explosions in 2020

Purdue University recently released the 2020 annual grain dust explosions report that catalogues the number of deaths and injuries nationwide.  According to the report, there were eight-grain dust explosions in 2020, resulting in zero fatalities and nine injuries.  The 10-year average for injuries is 8.1; for fatalities it is 1.7.  The grain types identified in the explosions included two cases of corn, two wheat, two mixed feed, one rice and one dietary fiber.  Dust explosions occurred in eight different states, one each in Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, Nebraska, Missouri and Arkansas.  Four of these explosions occurred in a grain elevator, and the remaining four in a feed mill, corn mill, rice mill and grain processor for dietary fiber.  Click here to read the full report.

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.