Newsletter
Volume 224
July 1, 2022

Register Now for the 2022 Safety School!

Back in full swing, the annual National Agronomic, Environmental, Health & Safety School will be held August 23-24, 2022 in Bloomington, Illinois at the Asmark Institute Agricenter. The safety school is the premier event for ag EHS&S professionals providing a unique opportunity to gain valuable insight into a host of regulatory topics facing the industry. The day and a half meeting allows ag professionals, agency and government officials and suppliers to share, learn, network and discuss issues and changes affecting the ag industry.


This year's keynote address will be given by John Buckley, President & CEO of Wilbur Ellis.  Other notable speakers are Tom Bray with J.J. Keller & Associates, Brian Bothast with OSHA, and Dr. Fred Whitford with Purdue Pesticide Programs. The full agenda is available on the website. Check out the newly designed, mobile-friendly website at naehss.org and get registered while seats last!  This in-person event has limited seating, so don’t delay.


The Safety School is held in conjunction with IFCA’s annual MAGIE Show, the industry’s premier outdoor equipment show in the United States.  We encourage you to consider attending while in Bloomington.  Go to ifca.com for more information.

OSHA Issues Citations Following Grain Engulfment

In November 2021, a supervisor at a supplier of grain, feeds and other agricultural products in New York told an untrained employee to enter a grain bin to clear a feed buildup that clogged a silo entry point.  While attempting to clear the buildup, the conveyor transporting the feed into the silo activated, partially engulfing the worker in leftover feed.  The employee avoided serious injury with help from a co-worker.

An inspection by OSHA found that the company exposed the employee to engulfment hazards by failing to adhere to legally-required grain-handling safeguards. Specifically, the company failed to:

  • Provide the employee a required body harness with lifeline or boatswain's chair and other rescue equipment before entering the grain bin.
  • De-energize, lock out and tag the conveyor and chutes transporting the feed to prevent them from operating with the employee in the bin.
  • Complete an entry permit to control hazards in the grain bin prior to directing workers to enter.
  • Train workers on grain-handling hazards, including entering confined spaces, loading feed into trucks, bagging feed, transporting feed into bins and related housekeeping duties.

OSHA also identified numerous other hazards at the facility related to incomplete programs to reduce flammable grain dust accumulations on ledges, floors, equipment and other exposed surfaces; blocked exit routes; fall and tripping hazards; inadequately anchored and guarded drill press; and incomplete inspection certifications.  OSHA cited the company for two willful, nine serious and three other-than-serious violations of workplace safety standards and proposed over $200,000 in penalties.

Driver File Annual Review Process Streamlined

For this year's Driver File annual review season, the process has been streamlined due to a requirement change.  As of May 2022, drivers no longer have to submit a list of their convictions for traffic violations for annual review purposes.  The new Request for Check of Driving Record form is now all that is required, and once signed it is good for the life of the file.  This new form authorizes us to run a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) and complete the annual review process.

An email was recently sent out to all facilities with DOT drivers, and a ToDo was posted to the website, for each driver to eSign the document.


The DQF team completes an annual review on every driver at each facility during the months of July through October, because this is typically the slowest time period for facilities and when the lowest number of drivers are employed.  Per DOT regulations, an annual review must be performed within 12 months of the previous year's file review in order to keep the driver in compliance.

If you have any questions about the annual review process, please give us a call.  We're here to help!

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 2022-2023 registration year covers the period between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.  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.

Fall 2022 Registration Now Open for Hazwoper Full Course

2022 Fall class dates have been scheduled for the Emergency Response Training Course (Hazwoper) in LaVergne, Tennessee, and registration is now open!  Classes start as early as the first week of October, and with limited seats they tend to fill up quickly, so don't miss your opportunity to participate and register today.

This four-day course, led by Billy Basham, satisfies the training requirements outlined in OSHA standard 29 CFR Part 1910.120, and is geared exclusively towards the needs of agrichemical personnel.

Hazwoper training prepares the participants to safely respond to a spill or potential release of hazardous substances. This training covers policies, practices and procedures that reduce the risk of injury and illness related to harmful exposures at a spill site.  Employees are required to complete Hazwoper training before responding to spills of agrichemicals and fertilizers.


If you have questions or would like more information, please reach out to Patricia at  patricia@asmark.org or 270-926-4600 Ext 234.

RMP Items Now Included in To Do List

Locations with a Risk Management Plan (RMP) prepared by the Asmark Institute will now see some new items incorporated into their To Do List.  Ever since Risk Management Plans were first filed in 1999, we have prompted all locations on the same schedule to complete key items like Hazard Reviews or Process Hazard Analyses and Compliance Audits.  Now, each location will be prompted based on the last copy we have on file.

For Program 2 locations, this will include prompting for a Compliance Audit every 3 years and a Hazard Review every 5 years.  Signed file copies should be uploaded using the Hub.  For Program 3 locations, this will include prompting for a review of operating procedures annually in addition to the prompting for a Compliance Audit every 3 years and a Process Hazard Analysis every 5 years.  Signed file copies for these items should continue to be uploaded in the appropriate section of MyPSM+RMP.

If you have any questions regarding RMP To Do List items or would like more information, please reach out to Dustin at dustin@asmark.org or 270-926-4600 Ext 203.

The Heat is On!  Stay Aware

As Summer is now in full swing, the heat is on as temperatures continue to rise across the nation.  Stay aware and recognize heat hazards in order to prevent heat illnesses.  Illnesses caused by overexposure to heat are progressive and can be life-threatening.

Occupational Factors that May Contribute to Heat Illness:

  • High temperature and humidity
  • Low fluid consumption
  • Direct sun exposure (with no shade) or extreme heat
  • Limited air movement (no breeze or wind)
  • Physical exertion
  • Use of bulky protective clothing and equipment

Every year, dozens of workers die and thousands more become ill while working in hot or humid conditions.  The OSHA Heat Illness Prevention campaign educates employers and workers on the dangers of working in the heat.

USPS Rates Increase

The Postal Service will be implementing price changes on July 10, 2022.  There are a number of products and services affected by the rate increase but the most commonly used services in our industry are listed below:

  • First-Class Mail Forever stamp will increase from $0.58 to $0.60.
  • First-Class Mail Metered rate will increase from $0.53 to $0.57 for a 1 oz. envelope.  The rate for each additional ounce will increase from $0.20 to $0.24.
  • First Class Mail Postcard rate will increase from $0.40 to $0.44.

USPS states these rate increases are due to inflation and continuous increase of operating expenses.