OSHA Joins Alliance Focused on Safe Handling of Fertilizers

Announced Feb. 4, the alliance already has completed its first project: a training video showing a mock agricultural retail facility inspection. The video was filmed at the ResponsibleAg training facility in Owensboro, Ky.

OSHA has entered into a two-year alliance focused on safe storage and handling of fertilizers, including ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia. fertilizers. The Fertilizer Institute President & CEO Chris Jahn and Agricultural Retailers Association President & CEO Daren Coppock said the agreement highlights their industries' ongoing efforts to enhance workplace and community safety, and the alliance will build upon the stewardship efforts associated with the ResponsibleAg program, a voluntary initiative created in 2014 by TFI and ARA to enhance health, safety, and security performance at agricultural retail facilities.

"Safety is a key priority for the fertilizer industry," Jahn said before introducing Loren Sweatt, acting assistant secretary of Labor for OSHA. "Through this alliance, we will provide partner members and the public with information, guidance, and access to training resources to help them protect the health, safety, and security of workers, emergency responders, and the communities surrounding agricultural retail and supply facilities, with a particular focus on the safe storage and handling of fertilizers."

"Safety is much larger than one person or one company," Coppock agreed. "Safety also means being a good steward – a good steward of the land, business, employees, and the communities in which we operate. This alliance is a positive step for ARA, TFI, and OSHA to work together on an issue that is top of mind for ag retailers."

Sweatt said the alliance "underscores our collective commitment to addressing industry hazards and developing best practices to help improve the safety and security of chemical storage and protect the lives of workers and residents."

Announced Feb. 4, the alliance already has completed its first project: a training video showing a mock agricultural retail facility inspection. The video was filmed at the ResponsibleAg training facility in Owensboro, Ky., and will further educate facility operators and managers on complying with federal health and safety regulations.

The partners said additional objectives of their alliance include:

  • Further leveraging the success of the ResponsibleAg program
  • Sharing information on OSHA's National Initiatives and opportunities to participate in initiatives and the rulemaking process
  • Sharing information on occupational safety and health laws and standards, including the rights and responsibilities of workers and employers
  • Speaking, exhibiting, or appearing at OSHA, TFI, and ARA conferences, local meetings, or other events, including the OSHA Alliance Program Forum
  • Sharing information among OSHA personnel and industry safety and health professionals regarding TFI and ARA good practices or effective approaches through training programs, workshops, seminars, and lectures
  • Encouraging TFI Local Sections and ARA members to build relationships with OSHA regional and area offices to address health and safety issues, including the safe storage and handling of fertilizers

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