For ag retailers, storing products is part of the business. In addition, keeping these products safe and secure, from the time they are delivered to the facility to when grower-customers have them delivered, is part of the plan as well. Below are quotes from various ag retailers around the country, related to on-site safety procedures they follow at their facilities:
“All spilled dry fertilizer is immediately swept up and put into the load. The entire dry fertilizer plant is swept every night before closing.” — Brad Aaseth, manager, Bird Island Soil Service, Bird Island, MN
“At the fertilizer plant, all trucks are loaded inside the building and dust spouts can be lowered into the trucks to reduce dust.” — Mike Flaten, general manager, Dakota Agronomy Partners/Sun Prairie Grain, Minot, ND
“After a truck is loaded, or a railcar is unloaded, we stress the need to sweep up any fertilizer that may have spilled during the process.” — Jim Pittam, area operations manager, Simplot Grower Solutions, Umatilla, OR
“Our warehouse storage area is surrounded by a 6-inch curb to contain even the smallest spill.” — Jeffery Mausolf, representative, ProSource One, Boynton Beach, FL
“Our chemical facility is a contained building where we store all of our bulk chemicals. The building is also equipped with fire and burglar alarms.” — Clint Hutchinson, branch manager, Crop Production Services, Bells, TN
“A 24-hour emergency contacts sign is posted at the front of the building in the customer parking area with the contact numbers of the location and division management.” — John Mausolf, location manager, Crop Production Services, Ubly, MI
Key Points To Consider
- At the retail facility, dry fertilizer loading/unloading areas should be kept contained and clean.
- Dealerships are encouraged to have employees sweep up any spilled dry fertilizer as soon as the loading/unloading process is completed. If possible, dust should be kept to a minimum.
- Warehouses where crop protection products are kept should have curbs and dikes to prevent spilled product from escaping into the surrounding area.
- Outside of buildings and at the facility entrance ways, safety signs should be posted listing emergency contact names, phone numbers, and other relevant safety/security information.