Three-Day Safety Seminar Scheduled

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We wanted to let everyone know that we’ve scheduled a Three-Day Safety seminar for early August in Tifton. The cost is $300 per person and the sessions are targeted at front line supervisors that will be conducting training and not necessarily managers. If you know you’d like to sign up, here’s the link. If you’d like more detail read on.

SAFETY SEMINAR REGISTRATION

While cotton gins are considered Agriculture in the eyes of OSHA, warehouses are not. OSHA requires all lift truck drivers in cotton warehouses to be properly trained as part their safety program. Prior to the pandemic, the Safety and Insurance committee recommended that we hold Train-the-trainer programs for those members that wanted to have Trainers on staff. We had held a couple of them in 2019 with good success

We contacted the company we’ve been working with on these trainings and worked with them to expand the program. They developed a Three-Day Program that covers several general safety topics and includes the Train-the-Trainer for lift trucks and elevated work platforms.

Since this program was developed relatively recently, we will only hold one such program this year but plan on doing at least one and possibly 2 next year based on participation.

This program is targeted at the front-line supervisors and trainers that have the most influence on the crews. These are the ones conducting the training either formally or on-the-job as most of our ‘training’ tends to be. This is not a purely “rules and regs” but a practical ‘why’ kind of training on many general safety topics but it includes the Train-the-Trainer on lift trucks and powered elevated work platforms. Participants will leave with the knowledge and materials to train their own employees in accordance with OSHA’s regs.

Space is limited to 25 participants. Lunch will be provided for two days. The session will be at the Micro-Gin at the University of Georgia in Tifton August 9-11. The address is in the EventBrite sign-up. Please follow this link above for registration or click here for more details.

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Last Chance

We’re just a few days from our first Three-day safety seminar. We only have a few spots left. If you would like to join us, please register by Thursday. That will give us time to do name tags and certificates for the participants.

Please go to http://www.ginpress.org/three-day-safety-seminar-scheduled/ for more information. Registration is on Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cotton-gin-safety-training-tickets-366897027887

Give us a call if you have any questions.

Wage and Hour 3 Day Seminar Recordings Available

Earlier this year the Wage and Hour Division conducted a Three day seminar/webinar with presentations on many problems/topics they see in agriculture. I was only able to attend a couple of these online. They have finally made the programs available for viewing as recordings. Please find more information below. Given this was a three-day session, you probably want to pick and choose the topics you may have interest in. Topics are time-stamped for your convenience. The links below are the only way to get to the recordings as they are not searchable on YouTube.


If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact our WHD Community Outreach Specialist in your area. 

Agriculture Seminar (Day 1)On April 5, 2022, we commenced with a welcome and introduction session followed by a panel discussion where panelists from the Wage and Hour Division, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (or OSHA), and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) address diversity, equity, and inclusion in the agriculture industry. Afterwards, the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) covers the certification process, and the Wage and Hour Division’s presents requirements for temporary employment when utilizing the H-2A visa program.
00:00 – Opening Remarks 
12:21 – Panel Discussion: Cultivating Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Agriculture 
54:19 – H-2A Temporary Employment Certification Process
02:14:27 – H-2A Temporary Employment Requirements 
03:12:00 – Closing Remarks 
Agriculture Seminar (Day 2)On April 6, 2022, we started with a panel discussion on H-2A requirements led by Department of Labor representatives from the Wage and Hour Division, Solicitor of Labor, and Office of the Inspector General. Following the opening panel discussion, Wage and Hour offers three sessions. The first covers the requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act including Child labor and the second provides requirements of the Migrant and Seasonal Agriculture Worker Protection Act. Next, WHD presents on OSHA Field Sanitation standards with information from OSHA on the Heat Initiative.
00:00– Opening Remarks 
05:21 – Panel Discussion: H-2A Enforcement Requirements 
01:05:19 – Agricultural Requirements: FLSA & Child Labor 
01:30:25 – Agricultural Requirements: Migrant and Seasonal Worker Protection Act (MSPA)
02:29:39– Agriculture Requirements: OSHA Field Sanitation Standards 
03:13:59 – Certification Team: How to Register as a Farm Labor Contractor 
03:13:59 – Closing Remarks 
Agriculture Seminar (Day 2) – Spanish/EspañolEl 6 de abril de 2022, la División de Horas y Salarios repaso los requisitos de la Ley de Normas Justas de Trabajo, incluido el trabajo de menores de edad. También repasamos los requisitos de la Ley de Protección de los Trabajadores Agrícolas Migratorios y de Temporada.  
00:00 – Palabras de Apertura 
00:25 – Requisitos Agrícolas: FLSA y Trabajo de Menores de Edad 
28:19 – Requisitos Agrícolas: Ley para la Protección de los Obreros Agrícolas Migratorios y de Temporada 
Agriculture Seminar (Day 3)On April 7, 2022, OSHA provided an overview on Health and Safety requirements. The Wage and Hour Division also conducted a number of panel discussions on the topics of: Labor Trafficking in Agriculture and Retaliation. The USDA’s Farm Service Agency concluded the day’s events with a presentation about their program.
00:00 – Opening Remarks 
00:05:25 – OSHA Health & Safety Requirements 
00:53:03 – Panel Discussion: Combatting Labor Trafficking in Agriculture
02:02:45 – Panel Discussion: Weeding out Retaliation in the Workplace
03:32:58 – Getting Started and Working with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) 
04:09:37 – Closing Remarks

Insurance Meeting Recently Held by National Cotton Ginners

Earlier this week, the National Cotton Ginners Association held a zoom meeting with a number of insurance representatives to discuss the situation we’re all facing with our insurance. Last year many were caught flat footed with huge increases in premium and very little ability to try to find alternatives.

Over the past couple of years, most of the ‘traditional’ agribusiness insurance carriers have left the market. The ones that are left are either limiting who they write or charging exorbitant premiums relative to previous years. The theme of most of the presentations was this isn’t a matter of greed it seems to them to be a matter of survival.

This contraction or hardening of the market is not just in our world but came home to roost in the past 24 months in a big way. The crisis in the insurance property and casualty market seems to have been brewing a while. The rapid increase in housing prices and inflation of building materials and steel has the potential to make this worse. We are not alone but it doesn’t make our situation any easier to handle.

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Possible Phishing Attack Aimed at H-2A Employers

If you use the H-2A program please pay special attention. Some H-2A employers have received an email similar to the one below. This is an obvious Phishing attack aimed to get you to go to a possible attacker or scammer’s website. This is the kind of thing that can lead to getting hacked or defrauding you of money.

Please do not click on anything you are not expecting and even then verify the email address or person you are emailing is legitimate. Please see the PDF below to see just some of the things to look for.

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OFLC-Spoof-Phishing-Email

Heat Stress and Illness Prevention

News Flash!!! It’s summer time in the Southeast and I’m pretty sure you don’t need me to tell you it is hot and humid. The last few days most areas of the southeast have been under heat advisories. The summer is just beginning and employers should be considering and implementing methods and procedures to protect workers from the dangers of heat stress and heat related illnesses. Employers have always been aware of the dangers of heat in the workplace and in turn have made adjustments to address the hazards facing employees working indoors/outdoors in hot environments. This may be providing water, shade, frequent breaks, early starts times, etc. all which help to address the ability of employees to avoid the dangers of heat related illnesses.

OSHA has recently enacted a national emphasis program to address heat stress and heat related illness in indoor and outdoor workplaces. With this program, OSHA has released several fact sheets and guidelines to help employers address the hazards of heat related illness and increase awareness with employees.

What Factors May Contribute to Heat Illness?

  • High temperature and humidity
  • Low fluid consumption
  • Direct sun exposure or extreme heat
  • Limited air movement
  • Physical exertion
  • Bulky protective clothing

What is Heat Illness?

Heat Stroke: Is the most serious and occurs when the body can no longer regulate temperature and body temperature rises to levels greater than 104°F. This is a medical emergency that may result in death. The symptoms are confusion, loss of consciousness, seizures, and lack of the ability to sweat. Medical help must be called while attempting to cool worker down.

Heat Exhaustion: Is the next most serious and results in headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, irritability, confusion, thirst, heavy sweating, and body temperature over 104°F. Workers with heat exhaustion should be moved to cooler area and given liquids to drink. The body can be cooled with cold compresses. Workers with signs of heat exhaustion should be taken to a health clinic or ER for treatment. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke if not treated.

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