Alliance Between Industry and Regulators Shows Fertilizer and Ag Retailers are Serious about Safety

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President & CEO Chris Jahn and Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) President & CEO Daren Coppock today highlighted ongoing efforts by the fertilizer and ag retail industries to enhance workplace and community safety while formalizing an alliance between TFI, ARA and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 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,” said Jahn before introducing Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Loren Sweatt. “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,” said Coppock. “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.”
The alliance, while just announced today, has already completed its first project with the unveiling of 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.
Additional objectives of the 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; and,
  • 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.
The alliance will remain in effect for two years, with representatives from each organization meeting periodically to discuss the responsibilities of the participants, to share information on activities and to track results in achieving the goals of the alliance.
“TFI and our members look forward to working with our agency partners to further enhance the safety and security of agricultural retail facilities,” concluded Jahn.