Region 5 - Alliance Agreement - May 20, 2020


The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Appleton, Eau Claire, Madison and Milwaukee Area offices and the Wisconsin Agri-Business Association (WABA) recognize the value of establishing a collaborative relationship to foster safe and healthful American workplaces. To that end, OSHA and WABA hereby form an Alliance to provide WABA members and others with information, guidance, and training resources to protect the health and safety of workers particularly by reducing and preventing exposure to hazards associated with engulfment, falls, auger entanglement, struck by, combustible dust and electrocutions, and understand the rights of workers and the responsibilities of employers under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act).

This agreement provides a framework and objectives for the Alliance’s activities. Alliance participants also agree to meet the “Fundamental Requirements for OSHA Alliance Program Participants” and the “Guidelines for OSHA’s Alliance Program Participants: Alliance Products and Other Alliance Projects.

Through the Alliance, the organizations will use relevant injury, illness and hazard exposure data when appropriate to help identify areas of emphasis for Alliance awareness, outreach, and communication activities. The Alliance will also explore and implement selected options, including but not limited to surveys, to evaluate the Alliance and measure the impact on improving workplace safety and health. In developing this Alliance, OSHA and WABA recognize that OSHA’s State Plan and On-Site Consultation Program partners are an integral part of the OSHA national effort, and that information about the products and activities of the Alliance may be shared with these partners for the advancement of common goals.

Raising Awareness: Outreach and Communication

The Participants intend to work together to achieve the following objectives:

  • Share publicly available information on OSHA’s National Initiatives (Emphasis Programs, Regulatory Agenda, Outreach) and opportunities to participate in the initiatives and rulemaking process.
  • Share information on occupational safety and health laws and standards, including the rights and responsibilities of workers and employers.
  • Convene or participate in forums, roundtable discussions, or stakeholder meetings on recognizing common hazards associated with the grain and feed industry and ways to minimize exposure, help implement innovative solutions in the workplace and to provide input on site-specific safety and health issues. These hazards may include; machine guarding, lock-out, powered industrial vehicle operation, grain bin entry and rescue procedures, housekeeping programs, combustible dust, fall protection, personal protective equipment, hazard communication, confined space entry programs and procedures, electrical safety-related work practices and other safety and health programs.
  • Encourage worker participation in workplace safety and health by increasing hazard awareness training and reporting.
  • Develop information on the recognition and prevention of workplace hazards, and communicate such information (e.g., print and electronic media) to employers and workers in the industry.
  • Encourage employers to create a site-specific safety and health program.
  • Speak, exhibit or appear at OSHA and WABA conferences, local meetings or other related events.
  • Collaborate with other Alliance participants to share outreach goals, projects and educational materials, which will provide an effective and consistent industry wide approach to safety and health as well as further enhance each Alliance participant’s effectiveness.

Training and Education

The Participants intend to work together to achieve the following objectives:

  • Develop and deliver effective training and education programs for the grain and feed industry addressing OSHA’s grain handling, combustible dust, walking working surfaces, fall protection, lockout, electrical safety-related work practices, confined space entry, hazard communication, personal protective equipment, respiratory protection, and other safety and health hazards as well as effective recognized industry controls associated with the industry.
  • Develop effective training and education programs for grain and feed industry employees at all levels to promote understanding of workers’ rights, including the use of the OSHA complaint process, and the responsibilities of employers and to communicate such information to workers and employers.

OSHA’s Alliances provide organizations an opportunity to participate in a voluntary cooperative relationship with OSHA for purposes such as raising awareness of OSHA’s initiatives, outreach, communication, training and education. These Alliances have proven to be valuable tools for both OSHA and Alliance participants. By entering into an Alliance with an organization, OSHA is not endorsing or promoting, nor does it intend to endorse or promote, any of that organization’s products or services.

An implementation team made up of representatives of each organization will meet one to two times per year to track and share information on activities and results in achieving the goals of the Alliance. Additional meetings may be conducted throughout the year upon agreement of both Alliance Participant Organizations. OSHA team members will include representatives of the Appleton, Eau Claire, Madison and Milwaukee Area Offices and any other OSHA Area Office representatives that may contribute to the success of the Alliance. WABA and OSHA will also consider including the Wisconsin On-Site Consultation program, key individuals, and other outside experts in an Alliance Team Meeting. Both Alliance Participant Organizations (WABA and OSHA) must agree that their participation will contribute to the success of the Alliance.

This agreement will remain in effect for two years. Either signatory may terminate it for any reason at any time, provided they give 30 days’ written notice. This agreement may be modified at any time with the written concurrence of both signatories.

Signed this 20th day of May, 2020.

Robert Bonack
OSHA Area Director
Appleton, WI


Mark Hysell
OSHA Area Director
Eau Claire, WI


Chad Greenwood
OSHA Area Director
Madison, WI

Thomas E. Bressner
WABA Executive Director


James D. Nolte
WABA Safety Program Director


Chris Zortman
OSHA Area Director
Milwaukee, WI