Original publish date: May 2008
For most ag retailers, safety is a multi-edged sword. Not only must these outlets protect their valuable physical assets, but they must also safeguard their personnel assets as well. To accomplish this, often ag retailers take many steps. These include protecting the exterior of their facilities with fences and gates and installing fire hydrants to make combating a fire easier to do. Outlets also provide various safety gear for their employees and have emergency spill kits on-site to deal with accidental spills.
Below are comments from retailers around the country who have a strong understanding of dealership safety:
“Our property is partially fenced. Plus, there is only one point of access to the property which is patrolled by local law enforcement.” — Mark Brackin, warehouse manager, Crop Production Services, Cooter, MO
“We have fire hydrants located at the front entrance and adjacent to the tank farm.” — Rod Merrigan, Magic Valley manager, Land View, Murtaugh, ID
“Each applicator vehicle and nurse truck has a safety equipment bag containing such items as a face shield, goggles, chemical resistant boots, gloves, and a dust mask.” — Mark Cockrell, supervisor, Crop Production Services, Haynesville, VA
“A full protection system is used by our employees whenever they are unloading railcars.” — Carl Zeltinger, general manager, Renville Elevator Co., Tolley, ND
“We maintain a mobile unit that is well supplied with emergency response equipment that can be dispatched to any facility.” — Terry Thomas, North Business manager, Effingham-Clay Service Co., Sullivan, IL
“Landmark’s Evansville campus has hosted a number of on-site fire, safety, and emergency response simulations.” — Scott Smith, Evansville location manager, Landmark Services Cooperative, Evansville, WI
Key Points To Consider
• Retailers should protect their facilities by installing fences around their perimeter. Also, to aid local firefighters, outlets should consider having fire hydrants located on their grounds.
• Proper safety equipment should be provided to all employees that handle hazardous materials.
• In the event of an accidental spill, retailers should have spill kits on-site that are accessible to all employees. Also, mobile spill units should be kept at the outlet if possible.
• Safety training should be conducted at the retail outlet at least once per year.