The ag season is nearing the mid-term… so we need to be vigilant about our ever changing weather. Watch out for lightning around the passing storms and beware of early morning fog. Looks like we just can’t catch a break in any season…….

The posting period for last year’s injury summary began February 1st! OSHA record keeping rules require a summary of the prior year’s injuries be displayed in each work location from February 1st thru April 30th of the following year (the OSHA 300 A form). Another requirement of the record keeping rule is that each business keep five years of injury records for review by OSHA during an inspection. The forms are available on-line at http:www.osha.gov (then look on the right side of the screen for “Recordkeeping”) or call us here at CHAPP! (See 29 CFR Part 1904)

The U.S. Department of Labor and D.B.P.R. investigators have been very active… and continue to focus on unauthorized transportation, lapsed registrations, field sanitation, and field time keeping of hours worked. CHAPP loss control staff members have encountered several instances of questionable tires on vehicles, poorly maintained toilets, and no field records of time being kept in the fields. Please remember that the investigators have stated there will be no more “warnings” and the cost of non-compliance has gone up drastically. Our staff has run into many occasions where the FLC supervising the crews did not have his license with him in the field – and that’s not a good way to start a visit with any investigator! Please make sure all your FLC’s have their state and federal cards on them at all times – and that they are current (not expired) and all the authorizations are correct. It is very important that you review your FLC licenses each time you get a new set – only you can make sure that your registrations are correct! (See 29 CFR 500)

This season we have found a lot of new crew leaders with less experience operating field vehicles! The youth and inexperience of some vehicle operators have led to some serious accidents in the citrus industry – at least one death of which we have direct knowledge. All three serious accidents through our office so far this season have been from un-authorized riders! We must not let safety become a casualty because we are under pressure to get a job completed. Riders must not be allowed on any goat trucks or ag tractors AT ANY TIME! It is very important that your field supervisors monitor the operations of your vehicles / field trucks and stop any unsafe practices before they become bad habits. Our loss control staff have materials to help with any safety concern for your operation – from training to company policies. Please don’t hesitate to call our loss control staff – we are here to help you maintain a safe work place for your employees.

The U.S. Department of Labor is taking over FLC registration March 1, 2007… and we just now have contact information and a mailing address for the new office in Atlanta. Please see the accompanying letter from DBPR concerning the transition on FLC registration. Any March or later expiring registrations need to be sent by certified mail to the address listed in the letter. Please remember that timely filing requires you submit the application 30 days in advance of your FLC license expiration – and if your FLC expires 3/31/2007, that means it must be certified mail dated 2/24/2007! (Please see 29 CFR Part 500.40-.47)

We would appreciate any ideas for topics, comments on our information, and any questions you may have! Please call us at (800)242-7898 or e-mail us at wwurth@chappinc.com . Remember: Luck runs out but safety is good for life!