The season for most of us is finished – and we are all thinking only about vacations! When those are over it is back to work to repair and get everything in shape for another year. We here at CHAPP are already getting ready for next year and thought we would give you some “food for thought” for the ever “shortening” summer…….

We are always amazed how “official” some companies make their sales pitches look!  We have received several mailings telling us our workplace postings are not in compliance and we must buy theirs now or risk thousands in fines! The pitch refers to 2 requirements by the IRS. The first is a Notice issued last November from the IRS that you must inform each employee who worked for you during the year and from whom you did not withhold any income tax about the Earned Income Credit. However, you do not have to notify any employee who claimed exemption(s) from withholding on their Form W-4. Also, the W-2’s you issued should have the EIC info on the back of Copy B of their forms, which also meet the requirement to notify the employee. The second “poster” the sales pitch talks about concerns the Federal tax withholding change that took effect July 1. You should have received your new tax withholding guide from the IRS which had a note on the front stating you had to notify your workers about the reduced tax and they have to file a new W-4 if they don’t want their tax reduced. They have a sample notice on the inside of the back cover of this publication (IRS 15-T). Most employers are attaching a copy of this to the first check issued in July to meet this requirement. Please call CHAPP or check the IRS web site (www.irs.gov) if you have any questions!

At this time of year farm tractor work is in full swing! Please remember that OSHA has a training requirement for new farm tractor (and field-use fork lift trucks) drivers before using the equipment and an annual training requirement for all employees who drive farm tractors. This training should be documented in the employee’s file and maintained in case of a tractor related accident. We have several training handouts available (in both English and Spanish) and our staff would be happy to assist you in setting up a program – please contact our office to discuss your needs! (ref. 29 CFR 1928.51 and 29 CFR 1928 Subpart C Appendix A)

With summer comes time to clean up our files……. The summer slow down gives us all time to catch up on our files – especially our driver and vehicle files. Each driver should have a file where you keep the employment app, driver’s license copy, MVR, proof of training, etc.. Every vehicle should have it’s own file where all the maintenance records, parts bill copies, inspection forms are kept. Individual files are easy to make, easy to keep, and are the best defense when DOT shows up after an accident and wants to know about a vehicle or driver. Please call our loss control staff with any questions!

Coming in September is the annual Florida Agricultural Seminar on September 25th and 26th in Orlando. We should have registration forms in early August – please call if you would like one!

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 wes@chappinc.com . Remember: working safely pays!