As any ag retailer knows, emergency planning and continual employee training are some of the keys to running a successful business. This is particularly true for those operations that regularly store and handle potentially dangerous materials. Below are quotes from dealers around the country that illustrate a thorough understanding of dealership security and safety.
“Our Handi-Plans, which are updated annually, are posted by telephones throughout the facility and are shared with local emergency responders.” — Dexter Howard, branch manager, Crop Production Services, Albertson, NC
“Detailed product inventory is kept on the main server. Inventory is counted monthly and random counting of products is done weekly.” — Michael Simpson, COO/operations manager, Premier Ag, Dalhart, TX
“Our emergency response procedures are placed in highly visible areas around the facility.” — Frank Anthis, manager, Crop Production Services, Wheatland, IN
“We work very closely with local emergency personnel. In March, we again had firefighter training at the plant on the proper emergency procedures for the products we store on site.” — Mike Wilson, area marketing coordinator, Wabash Valley Service Co., Browns, IL
“The safety committee member also shares a copy of our emergency information with local emergency agencies and volunteers to train fire and emergency personnel on how to properly respond to an agrichemical emergency.” — Pat Titus, safety & regulatory administrator, Illini FS, Urbana, IL
“Employee training is conducted monthly on various safety issues and standard operating procedures.” — James Reed, branch manager, Helena Chemical Co., Burkburnett, TX
4 Key Points To Consider
• At the retail facility, emergency procedures and standard operating practice documents should be posted in easy-to-reach, highly visible locations.
• On at least an annual basis, ag retail locations should work with local emergency responders to co-train in how to deal with emergency situations.
• If feasible, dealerships should have employees as members of a safety committee, responsible for overseeing all emergency procedures and training.
• Employees should regularly be trained in how to deal with emergency situations and the proper handling of potentially dangerous materials that are stored/handled at the facility.