AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING AN ALLIANCE
THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
THE FERTILIZER SAFETY AND HEALTH PARTNERS
(THE AGRICULTURAL RETAILERS ASSOCIATION; THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIRE FIGHTERS; THE NATIONAL VOLUNTEER FIRE COUNCIL; THE FERTILIZER INSTITUTE; AND THE AMMONIA SAFETY AND TRAINING INSTITUTE)
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and the Fertilizer Safety and Health Partners (the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA); the International Association of Fire Fighters; the National Volunteer Fire Council; the Fertilizer Institute; and the Ammonia Safety and Training Institute) recognize the value of establishing a collaborative relationship to foster safer and more healthful American workplaces.
To that end, OSHA, EPA, and the Fertilizer Safety and Health Partners (collectively referred to as "the Participants") hereby form an Alliance to provide partner members and others including non-English and limited English-speaking workers, with information, guidance, and access to training resources that will help them protect the health, safety and security of workers, emergency responders, and the communities surrounding establishments in the agricultural retail and supply industry. The Participants intend to specifically emphasize the safe storage and handling of fertilizers (ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia), as well as the sharing of emergency response information between the agribusiness communities and first responders, and understand the rights of workers and the responsibilities of employers under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act).
The Participants intend to use relevant injury and illness data, lessons learned from relevant chemical accidents, and existing good practice documents to help identify areas of emphasis for awareness, outreach, training, and communication activities. The Participants intend to also explore and implement selected options to evaluate the effectiveness of the Alliance and measure the impact of its overall effort on improving workplace safety for employers, workers, and communities. In signing this Alliance, OSHA, EPA, and the Fertilizer Safety and Health Partners recognize that OSHA's State Plan and On-site Consultation Project partners are an integral part of the OSHA national effort, and that the products and results of this Alliance may be shared with them, as appropriate, to pursue common goals.
The Participants intend to work together on the following raising awareness of OSHA/EPA rulemaking and enforcement activities:
- Share information on OSHA and EPA Rulemaking and National Emphasis and related Programs, Regulatory Agendas, and opportunities to participate in the rulemaking process, including chemical accident prevention regulations under the Clean Air Act and emergency planning and preparedness regulations under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
- Update/promote ammonium nitrate and anhydrous ammonia guidance and government advisories.
Outreach and Communication
The Participants intend to work together on the following outreach and communication activities:
- Develop products, including fact sheets and case studies, focusing on the leading causes of injuries and fatalities in the agricultural retail industry.
- Distribute Alliance and OSHA/EPA materials in English/Spanish to employers and workers, and to the surrounding communities that may be affected.
- Invite OSHA and EPA representatives to speak, exhibit, or appear at Fertilizer Safety and Health Partner conferences, local meetings and other agricultural safety and emergency response planning events as needed.
- Conduct best practices seminars/webinars on effective emergency response procedures between volunteer fire fighters and industry partners.
- Conduct pilot training program focusing on an overview and introduction of the agricultural retail and supply industry for OSHA and EPA staff.
- Provide recommendations for agricultural retailers and suppliers focusing on fertilizer research and best practices.
- Promote the OSHA On-site Consultation Program, and EPA Programs to Fertilizer Safety and Health Partners' members, and others.
OSHA's Alliances provide parties an opportunity to participate in a voluntary cooperative relationship with OSHA for purposes such as raising awareness of OSHA's rulemaking and enforcement initiatives, training and education, and outreach and communication. These Alliances have proved to be valuable tools for both OSHA and its Alliance participants. By entering into an Alliance with a party, neither OSHA nor EPA are endorsing or promoting, nor do the Agencies intend to endorse or promote, any of that party's products or services. Such an Alliance is not a legal entity with powers to enter into contracts, incur liabilities, own or create intellectual property, or otherwise make legally-binding commitments of the funds or other assets of OSHA or EPA. The statutory authority for EPA to undertake activities under this agreement is provided by Sections 103(a) and (g) of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7403(a) and (g) and by Section 102(2)(G) of the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(G).
An implementation team made up of representatives of each organization intend to meet with OSHA representatives at least twice per year, with other meetings as needed, to direct and oversee the conduct and progress of the Alliance. OSHA team members include representatives of the Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs, Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, and any other appropriate offices. EPA team members include representatives of the Office of Emergency Management, and any other appropriate offices. OSHA will encourage State Plan States' and OSHA On-site Consultation Projects' participation on the team.
The Implementation Team intends to develop a work plan with specific measurable objectives. The plan will identify projects and actions to implement the projects, identify the roles and responsibilities of the participants, and include projected timelines for key steps. The plan will also include provisions for developing and implementing methods to evaluate the impact of the Alliance's activities.
This agreement will remain in effect for two years. Any 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 all signatories. This agreement does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by law or equity, by persons who are not party to this agreement, against the Participants, their officers or employees, or any other person. This agreement does not direct or apply to any person outside of the Participant agencies and organizations.
Signed this 2nd day of February, 2015
- David Michaels, PhD, MPH
- Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health
- W. Daren Coppock
- President & CEO
- Agricultural Retailers Association
- Mathy Stanislaus
- Assistant Administrator
- Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response Environmental Protection Agency
- Harold A. Schaitberger
- International Association of Fire Fighters
- Philip C. Stittleburg
- National Volunteer Fire Council
- Chris Jahn
- The Fertilizer Institute
- Gary Smith
- President and CEO
- Ammonia Safety and Training Institute