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Wisconsin OSHA Offices and the Wisconsin Agri-Business
Association Annual Alliance Report, November 26, 2013

  1. Alliance Background

    Date Signed:

    November 19, 2012

    Evaluation Period:

    November 19, 2012 through November 26, 2013


    The four Wisconsin OSHA offices and the Wisconsin Agri-Business Association (WABA) are working to establish a cooperative relationship to foster safer and more healthful workplaces in the state's agribusinesses.

    Implementation Team Members:

    Tom Bressner, WABA Executive Director

    Jim Nolte, WABA Safety Director

    Kimberly Stille, Madison OSHA Director

    Chris Zortman, Milwaukee OSHA Director

    Mark Hysell, Eau Claire OSHA Director

    Rob Bonack, Appleton OSHA Director


    Leslie Ptak, Madison OSHA Compliance Assistance Specialist

    Jim Lutz, Milwaukee OSHA Compliance Assistance Specialist

    Mary Bauer, Eau Claire OSHA Compliance Assistance Specialist

    Kelly Bubolz, Appleton OSHA Compliance Assistance Specialist

    Ann Grevenkamp, Milwaukee Assistant Area Director

    Dan Calverley, Madison Compliance Safety and Health Officer

    Joan Viney, WABA, Director of Member Communications

  2. Implementation Team Meetings

    November 19, 2012 - OSHA and WABA met to sign the alliance forms.

    May 21, 2013 - Alliance members met at the WABA office to establish goals and projects for the alliance.

    June 19, 2013 - Alliance members met at the WABA office to prepare for webinars on the topics of GHS Alignment of Hazard Communication and Alternatives to Entry to Prevent Engulfment Hazards in Grain Bins

    July 29, 2013 - Alliance members met at the OSHA office to further prepare for webinars

    October 21, 2013 - Alliance members met at the OSHA office to discuss their plans for OSHA's FY 2014.

  3. Events and Products

    Training and Education

    • A webinar, GHS Alignment of Hazard Communication, was presented at the request of WABA members on August 22, 2013 to address the December 1, 2013 deadline for GHS/1910.1200 training. OSHA reviewed and had input into the content of the webinar and the WABA safety director was the presenter.
    • A webinar, Alternatives to Entry to Prevent Engulfment Hazards in Grain Bins, was presented on September 18, 2013. Thiswas a topic that the alliance members agreed was valuable to WABA members. The basics of the hazards of bin entry, with an emphasis on alternatives to bin entry, are always a useful review.
    • WABA Safety Director gave a presentation on GHS/Hazard Communication at the Midwest Equipment Dealer Association (MEDA) on June 18, 2013.
    • The alliance members are in the process of considering grain bin rescue training by Purdue University for their members and local fire departments some time in 2014. Arrangements are still being considered.

    Outreach and Communication - Alliance members took advantage of all the ways that WABA communicates with its members to convey pertinent safety and health information.

    • The Madison compliance assistance specialist gave a presentation at the January 2013 annual WABA conference, an OSHA Update on the agency's emphasis on grain handling and the progress of the Region V LEP on grain handling.
    • WABA made arrangements for OSHA to meet with a representative of the Monroe Emergency response Inter-Agency Training (MERIT) training facility located in Monroe, Wisconsin. They are creating a rescue training center for fire departments that is to include facilities to practice grain bin rescue. As a result of the alliance, OSHA has had input on the design of the equipment that will be installed to give Wisconsin and other students an experience of an OSHA compliant grain handling facility.
    • WABA newsletter, Wisconsin Agri-Business News Quarterly had four articles written expressly for the newsletter by an OSHA compliance assistance specialist, which goes out to more than 336 WABA members that account for 1000 agribusiness establishments.
      • Heat Illness in the Workplace
      • The Cost of Doing Business: Grain Engulfment/ Entrapment.
      • Fall LEP is Expanded to General Industry
      • OSHA's New Hazard Communication Requirements
    • WABA Website, http://www.wiagribusiness.org
      • Sent information on heat illness in the workplace which was posted on the OSHA Safety Information page of www.wiagribusiness.org. It contains a wealth of information on heat illness, easily downloadable for WABA members.
      • Posted the June 19, 2013 OSHA Region V news release, “Learn and Live: Grain industry hazards lead to deaths, injuries each year”.
      • WABA had the Illinois Grain and Feed Association's stop sign decal printed for sale to its members. The decal, which can be used as a warning sign on confined spaces, is also available on their web site.
      • As a result of the GHS Alignment of Hazard Communication webinar, WABA created a page with GHS/1910.1200 training materials for their members
      • Both webinars that OSHA and WABA developed and hosted in the summer of 2013 (GHS and Alternatives to Bin Entry) are available on the WABA site for viewing at no cost
      • WABA posted a grain bin safety video created by Oklahoma State University Extension on their web site.

    Promoting the National Dialogue on Workplace Safety and Health

    • WABA created and distributed to their members two surveys that focused on WABA facilities' ability to respond to a grain entrapment/engulfment. One survey went to more than 300 WABA members and one went to all 855 local fire departments. An article on the results of the survey is being written and we hope to publish it in a WABA  newsletter in 2013 - 2014.
  4. Results

    Type of Activity

    Number of Individuals Reached or Trained

    GHS Alignment of Hazard Communication webinar

    36 WABA companies registered, 15 participated, posted on WABA website for 336 WABA companies and 770 individual members to view at any time.

    Alternatives to Entry to Prevent Engulfment Hazards in Grain Bins webinar

    14 WABA companies registered, 9 participated, posted on WABA website for 336 WABA companies and 770 individual members to view at any time.

    WABA survey on engulfment/entrapment rescue

    Sent to 855 Wisconsin Fire Departments and 336 WABA member companies

    WABA newsletter articles by OSHA staff (four total)

    Sent to 336 WABA companies and 770 individual members

    WABA web site

    Available to 336 WABA companies and 770 individual members

    Safety Notice/Alert emails on GHA/HazCom, Engulfment Prevention webinar and Grain Bin Safety video by Oklahoma State University

    Sent to 336 WABA companies and 770 individual members

    CAS presentation at the WABA Annual Conference

    115 attendees

    Midwest Equipment Dealers Association Safety Day

    20 attendees

    STOP sign safety reminder decals (for confined spaces)

    50 signs have been ordered and shipped to WABA members.

    Note: the 336 WABA member companies represent 1,000 grain agribusiness facilities and anywhere from 2,500 to 5,000 employees.

  5. Upcoming Milestones

    Alliance members have a lot of plans for the second year of the alliance which expires in November 2015.

    • The alliance will continue with placing articles in the newsletters. Potential topics include the Wisconsin Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) and the difference between confined space hazards and bin hazards.
    • A review of all the methods of entering grain bins and clearing clumped up grain, as well as the pros and cons of each method, will be made into a final product/presentation that can be distributed.
    • Future webinars are a possibility.
    • WABA has two conferences in January 2014 and the spring of 2014 and OSHA has been added to the agenda and been given exhibit space.
    • The alliance will continue to work with the Monroe Fire Department in the development of their MERIT facility.
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