NC, SC and VA State Unit Meetings This Week – FINALLY

For a third attempt, the North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia State Unit meetings for the Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association, will be held this week. The first two attempts had to be postponed due to Hurricane Florence’s impact on the area. Many gins and ginners are in some of the hardest hit areas of the state. Even though some gins will be running we will hold our annual issues update and safety meetings this week.

The South Carolina State Unit meeting will be Thursday, September 27 at 10 AM at the the Tri-County Electric Coop in St. Matthews, SC. The North Carolina / Virginia State Unit meeting will be Friday, September 28 at 10 AM as well. Lunch will follow.

We hope to see all our ginners at one of these meetings.


NCC Develops Additional Contamination Prevention Material

This week the National Cotton Council is releasing a video on plastic contamination. The video which is broken into chapters addresses many of the aspects of plastic contamination from the field through the gin. Many of the chapters are directed toward producers and a few are directed toward gins.

We would recommend that you view the video and distribute the link or the video to your producers. We understand the National Cotton Council will be sending materials and the video directly to gins across the country to help spread the word that contamination Continue reading

Are You Ready for an Audit

When we hear the word audit, we (or at least I) think of the IRS but businesses around the country, especially seasonal or that use a lot of migrant or immigrant labor have a lot more to worry about when it comes to Audits. ICE and Wage and Hour have both been stepping up their efforts to make sure employees are both legal and paid properly.

A recent article by attorneys in the restaurant space outlines how much more raid and audit activity ICE has been working on since the beginning of the year. ICE has more than tripled the audits and raids on employers compared to all of 2017 according to the authors. The article goes on to discuss what employers should do to prepare. More than 5200 employers received notices of intent to audit earlier this year. The advice given in the article is good for all Continue reading

WOTUS Rule Back from the Dead

The controversial Waters of the United States rule is back. Earlier this week, a US District Court in Alabama reinstated the rule in 26 states. Ironically not in South Carolina or nearly all of the Southeast for that matter.

The district court ruled that the Trump Administration had not given the public enough time or ability to comment on its plan to declare the WOTUS rule (a 2015 Obama era rule) dead and intend to replace it with something else. Since the public didn’t have enough time in the opinion of the court, the rule is back in effect in a majority of the states. Twenty-four states have other court action pending and therefore the rule will not be reinstated in those states.

A much more detailed article can be found on DTN Progressive Famer’s Site.

Georgia Gin Safety Round Tables Well Attended

The AgriTrust of Georgia and the Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association again put on two Ginners Safety Round Tables. This year the sessions were held at the Heart of Georgia Gin in Hawkinsville and Sconyers Gin in Sycamore.

Topics covered in this year’s Round Tables included Fork Lift and Warehouse demonstrations by MacKinnon Equipment Services, Personal Protective Equipment by Josh White with the AgriTrust, Maintenance and Off-Season Repair safety led by Jackson Hammack (Early County Gin) at Hawkinsville and Lupe Alonzo (Mobley Gin) and Rick Riley (Sconyers Gin and Whse) at Sconyers, and two Lock-out Sessions with Kirby Bailey of Safe Workforce Development and Andy Knowlton of the Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association. Additionally, the Continue reading

OSHA Revises Online Reporting of Injury Data

In a change that was largely expected, the Department of Labor published a proposed change to their Electronic Reporting Rule that requires large employers and smaller employers in certain high risk segments to report OSHA 300 data. The changes would rescind the previous requirement that the larger employers (over 250 employees) had to submit OSHA 300 form information as well as OSHA 300A (summary) data.

Assuming the changes become final in a few weeks, the larger employers and small employers would only have to submit the Summary 300A data. The concern is that the OSHA 300 data contains information Continue reading