OSHA Releases Official Notice for Regional Emphasis Program of Kansas Ag Retailers

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KARA received official notice 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 purpose of this Notice is to establish a Regional Emphasis Program (REP) to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities related to workers’ exposures in fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate (FGAN) and agricultural anhydrous ammonia mixing/blending, storage, and distribution facilities. Workers employed in the fertilizer storage, mix/blend, and distribution industry face many hazards that can lead to serious injury, illness, and death, including fire, explosions, and hazardous chemicals.

The intent of this Regional Emphasis Program is to encourage employers to take steps to address hazards, evaluate facilities to determine if the employer is in compliance with all relevant OSHA requirements, and to help employers correct hazards, thereby reducing potential worker injuries, illnesses, and deaths.

OSHA in Region VII proposes to accomplish this through outreach and enforcement activities. Outreach activities will include letters to employers, training sessions with stakeholders, electronic information-sharing activities, public service announcements, and news release broadcasts. Enforcement activities will begin not earlier than three months after outreach is initiated and will include, but not be limited to, the inspection and review of production operations, and working conditions; injury and illness records; safety and health programs; and chemical handling and use, to identify and obtain corrections of workplace hazards at all applicable inspection sites.

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