KARA received an announcement this morning from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that Regions 6 and 7 are under Regional Emphasis Programs (REPs) to address hazards from exposure to fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate (FGAN) and agricultural anhydrous ammonia. The REPs will apply to all facilities in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.
According to the news release, the program begins October 1, 2018, with a three-month period of education and prevention outreach to encourage employers to bring their facilities into compliance with OSHA standards. During this period, OSHA will continue to respond to complaints, referrals, hospitalizations, and fatalities. Enforcement activities will begin after the outreach period and run through September 30, 2019, unless extended.
For more information, see the following resources:
• OSHA webpage: Fertilizer Industry Guidance on Storage and Use of Ammonium Nitrate.
• OSHA standard on storage and handling of anhydrous ammonia.
• OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program, a free and confidential program to help small- and medium-sized employers learn about potential hazards at their workplace and improve safety and health programs.
• Compliance Assistance Specialists and other staff in OSHA’s local offices who can help employers comply with OSHA requirements.
KARA staff is working with our national partners and KFSA in obtaining additional details and working on potential training opportunities for our members in preparation of the REP. We will forward all pertinent information as soon as we get it.