Heartland Cooperative Services
101 Parkside Dr.  Dorchester, WI 54425
715-654-5134 or 1-800-521-2021
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Dedicated to keeping employees 
& members healthy & safe
Heartland Cooperative 
Health & Safety Division
Lois Klimpke
Health & Safety Coordinator
The United States Environmental Protection Agency has announced major changes to its 23 year old Worker Protection Standards. This is vital information for all farmers and farmer works. 

Please read and understand these new health saving measures.
These revisions to the 1992 Agricultural Worker Protection Standard will afford farm workers similar health protections that are already afforded to workers in other industries.

Heartland Cooperative wants all its members, patrons and employees to be safe on the job.
What are the Major Changes for Farmers and Farm Workers?

  •   The revisions to the Worker Protection Standard cover many different areas. The major revisions include:
  •   Annual mandatory training to inform farm-workers on the required protections afforded to them. Currently, training is only once every 5 years.
  •   Expanded training includes instructions to reduce take-home exposure from pesticides on work clothing and other safety topics.
  •   First-time ever minimum age requirement: Children under 18 are prohibited from handling pesticides.
  •   Expanded mandatory posting of no-entry signs for the most hazardous pesticides. The signs prohibit entry into pesticide-treated fields until residues decline to a safe level.
  •   New no-entry application-exclusion zones up to 100 feet surrounding pesticide application equipment will protect workers and others from exposure to pesticide over spray.
  •   Requirement to provide more than one way for farm-workers and their representatives to gain access to pesticide application information and safety data sheets – centrally-posted, or by requesting records.
  •   Mandatory record-keeping to improve states’ ability to follow up on pesticide violations and enforce compliance. Records of application-specific pesticide information, as well as farm-worker training, must be kept for two years.
  •   Anti-retaliation provisions are comparable to Department of Labor’s (DOL).
  •   Changes in personal protective equipment will be consistent with DOL’s standards for ensuring respirators are effective, including fit test, medical evaluation and training.
  •   Specific amounts of water to be used for routine washing, emergency eye flushing and other decontamination, including eye wash systems for handlers at pesticide mixing/loading sites.
  •   Continue the exemption for farm owners and their immediate families with an expanded definition of immediate family.


What Will These Changes Achieve?

There is a clear need for better protection for farm workers. Each year, between 1,800 and 3,000 occupational incidents involving pesticide exposure are reported from the farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses covered by the Worker Protection Standard. There is widespread under-reporting.

By better protecting our agricultural workers, the agency anticipates fewer pesticide exposure incidents among farm workers and their family members. Fewer incidents means a healthier workforce and avoiding lost wages, medical bills, and absences from work and school. In addition, EPA is concerned about low level, repeated exposure to pesticides that may contribute to chronic illness.

What Types of Activities are Covered?

The regulation seeks to protect and reduce the risks of injury or illness resulting from agricultural workers’ (those who perform hand-labor tasks in pesticide-treated crops, such as harvesting, thinning, pruning) and pesticide handlers’ (those who mix, load and apply pesticides) use and contact with pesticides on farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses. The regulation does not cover persons working with livestock.

When Will These Changes Take Place?

The majority of the rule revisions will be effective approximately 14 months after the rule publishes in the Federal Register. This will give farmers and states time to adjust to the new requirements, as well as time for EPA and states to develop updated materials for training and other purposes. EPA will have an official effective date once the rule publishes in the federal register.

To better understand the difference between the new changes and the old regulations download and print this PDF
Heartland ensures location and division managers are up to date on CPR and first aid.
Recently Heartland Cooperative held a 3 session course on “Hands On CPR” and other first aid techniques.
John Staab from the American Heart Association instructed attendees on CPR for adults, children and infants.  
Also covered in the course 
was the use of an AED,
(Automated External Defibrillator)
 a life saving devise for those 
suffering a heart attack.

Topics covered in first aid were: Chocking, allergic reactions, stroke, diabetes and low blood sugar, seizures, shock, bleeding, wounds, head-neck and spine injuries, burns and electrical injuries, bites and bee stings, heat-cold related emergencies.

The course also covered the use of personal protective equipment and the proper disposal of biohazard waste.
Anyone can learn CPR – 
and everyone should! 

Sadly, 70 percent of Americans may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed. This alarming statistic could hit close to home, because home is exactly where 88 percent of cardiac arrests occur.

Put very simply: The life you save with CPR is mostly likely to be someone you love.
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the "movie heart attack," where no one doubts what's happening. 
However, most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. 


  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. 
  • It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or feeling light headed.


As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. 
In addition, women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly:


Learn about the warning signs of heart attack in women.

  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the #1 reason for workplace fatalities
  • 80% of SCA victims survive if an AED is used within 1-3 minutes
  • OSHA recommends the use of AEDs at every worksite to improve survival rates for SCA (OSHA TIB 01-12-17)
Designed for use by lay responders, the ReviveR® AED has no lids, moving parts or cases — just two buttons with pre-connected pads. 

When the ReviveR® is in use, a clear, calm voice and visual indicators prompt the user from start to finish, making the ReviveR® AED simple to use. 

Continuous monitoring of the heart will detect if the patient's heartbeat recovers, and the ReviveR® AED will cancel the shock.
Heartland Coopoperative in conjunction with Cintas has placed 5 
Automatic External Defibrillators at five locations.
Preventing Farm Vehicle Back-over Incidents

Backing up farm equipment and vehicles is a daily occurrence in the agricultural industry. Backover incidents occur when a backing vehicle strikes a worker who is standing, walking, or kneeling behind that vehicle. These incidents can be prevented. Backover incidents can result in serious injuries or deaths to farmworkers. 
Employers are responsible for maintaining a safe workplace for every worker. This fact sheet provides employers with information about backover hazards and safety measures.
Preventing or Minimizing Backover Hazards

Most backover incidents are due to the employer’s failure to train vehicle operators and enforce proper backing up techniques and preventive safety measures. Employers should ensure that unnecessary backing up is avoided. In addition, employers should also ensure that both the operator and other workers are always aware of their surroundings. Moreover, employers should develop and require the use of alternate travel routes and backover safety systems, which are effective safeguards to prevent backover incidents.
Hitching Farm Equipment and Implements
Helpers often assist operators in backing up and hitching farm vehicles (e.g., truck or tractor). However, helpers working behind these vehicles risk becoming caught and crushed between the vehicle and the equipment being hitched. Employers should require the use of the following hitching and backing up safety measures..
Hitching operations without a helper:
1) Inspect the equipment, including the hydraulic and electrical connections, drawbar hole and hitch pin, and the three-point hitch.
2) Ensure that no one is standing or working behind the vehicle.
3) If available, use the vehicle backup camera and alarm to ensure that objects are not in the vehicle’s path.
4) Back up the vehicle slowly to align the hole in the drawbar with the hole in the implement hitch.
5) Stop and put the vehicle in park, or lock the brakes.
6) If required, dismount to connect the electrical and hydraulic connections and safety chains.
7) Hitch the equipment to the vehicle.
8) Release the parking brake/lock, place the vehicle in gear and slowly drive away.

Farmworkers on foot are at risk of being backed over by a farm vehicle.
Hitching operations with a helper:
1) Inspect the equipment, including the hydraulic and electrical connections, drawbar hole and hitch pin, and the three-point hitch connection if applicable.
2) Ensure that coordinated ASABE hand signals are understood and used (see below for coordinated hand signals).
3) Back up the vehicle at the slowest speed possible toward the equipment.
4) Until the vehicle is stopped, the helper should stand outside the path of the vehicle.
5) After the drawbar and equipment are aligned, stop and put the vehicle in park, or lock the brakes.
6) Signal the helper that it is safe to approach the vehicle for a close inspection and to prepare for hitching operations.
7) If required, attach the electrical and hydraulic connections and safety chains. 
8) Move the vehicle forward or backward a few inches, if needed, to allow the helper to drop in the hitch pin.
To prevent backover incidents, employers should:
Regularly assess each work location to determine if a traffic control plan is needed.
Establish drive-through or circular turnaround areas. If this is not possible, provide adequate space for operators to perform a three-point turn.
Ensure that all turnaround areas are level, firm, and well- drained to prevent vehicles from tipping over.
Determine if a backup camera or system is needed.
Never allow workers to eat lunch or rest near active working vehicles and equipment.
Identify where workers might stand or walk unexpectedly.
Determine if a spotter is required.
Instruct workers and operators not to use personal mobile phones, headphones or any items that could create a distraction

A circular turnaround area is the safest way to allow safe entry and exit of farm equipment and vehicles.
Working Conditions
Working at night
The lack of light can increase the operator’s blind spots, as well as impair his or her ability to see other workers. Employers should provide sufficient lighting for the worksite and vehicle, and require workers to wear reflectors or high-visibility vests to make them more visible.

Working in bad weather
Bad weather, such as heavy rain, can pose particular hazards to workers and operators. Strong rain can reduce the operator’s
visibility and make it very difficult to recognize workers and other vehicles that may be nearby. If the workers are at risk due to bad weather, employers should stop the work and ensure that the workers stay clear of moving vehicles until it is safe to return.
Employers should train vehicle operators to:
1) Become familiar with backing up hazards and worksite safety measures.
2) Back up only when necessary and for as short a distance as possible.
3) Check the surrounding area for obstacles, other workers, and equipment.
4) Understand the limitations of their vehicles and equipment, and operate them only in the way they were intended to be operated.
5) Keep mirrors clean and adjusted properly to minimize blind spots.
6) Know the vehicle’s blind spots — mirrors never give the entire view.
7) Check that backup alarms, sensors, and cameras are functioning properly.
9) Look under vehicles and trailers for workers; remember that some workers may not respond to verbal or mechanical warnings.
10) Honk the vehicle’s horn and turn on the 4-way flashers, if necessary when backing up.
11) Roll down cab windows, and if necessary, open the vehicle’s doors so that a person shouting can be heard.
12) Understand that snow, mud, slush, or ice may prevent sudden stops and cause the vehicle to move in an unexpected manner.
13) Understand that bad weather may compromise the operator’s ability to hear or see warnings.
Always back up at a slow speed and watch carefully in all directions.
Employers should train farmworkers on foot to:
Stand where they can see the vehicle’s mirrors whenever possible.
Never go between a moving vehicle and any equipment that is hitched or being towed.
Never stand or linger in a vehicle’s path.
Never rest or sleep next to or under an agricultural work vehicle or equipment.
Inform other workers when vehicles are approaching.
Listen for the vehicle’s backup alarm and watch the vehicle’s movement.
​•Never assume that the vehicle’s operator can see them.
Never wear earbuds or headphones when working near farm vehicles and equipment.

Using Hand Signals and Spotters
Distance and noise can make voice commands very difficult to hear or understand in some agricultural locations. Agricultural hand signals have been developed for farm machinery operators by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE/ E19). Hand signals can prevent accidents and save time. Learning hand signals will give workers and drivers an easy and effective way to communicate. Employers should train and require drivers and spotters to use the ASABE’s hand signals in all agricultural operations, especially when noise or distance is a factor.

Vehicle Safety Devices and Warning Systems
Many safety devices and warning systems, including backup alarms, large backup lights, sensors, alarms that beep continuously while the vehicle is in reverse, and rear-view cameras, have come on the market and are now essential components of modern day farm vehicles. Older agricultural farm vehicles may lack these safety devices and systems. Planning ahead, establishing sound safety procedures, and adding safety warning devices to farm vehicles can help prevent backover incidents and injuries.
Workers’ Rights
Workers have the right to:
Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods
to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace. Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA’s rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.
For additional information, see OSHA’s Workers page.
Suffocation from engulfment is a leading cause of death in grain bins, and the number of these deaths continues to rise. These fatalities are preventable. Stand-Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention is a way of reaching out to employers and workers to get them involved in improving worker protection, reducing injuries, and preventing fatalities from engulfment. ..... 
Safety Stand Down: Grain Entrapment/Engulfment Training and Awareness" webinar sponsored by GEAPS
To view a recording of the GEAPS webinar and access related supplimental resources please use the links below
GEAPS Exchange 2017 in Kansas City, KS - February 25028, 2017
Exchange 2016 in Austin drew 2,852 attendees from 28 countries, and set records with 412 exhibitors in 250,000 square feet of exhibit space. The conference also had a record 41.5 hours of educational programming. GEAPS is hard at work planning another outstanding conference for GEAPS Exchange 2017 in Kansas City, Feb. 25-28, 2017.

OSHA Grain Handling Safety Stand-Down - March 27-31, 2017
OSHA Grain Handling Safety Stand-Down will be in collaborating with OSHA, GEAPS and University of Texas Arlington (UTA) bring awareness and promote engulfment and entrapment safety.
The Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS)
Future events

​OSHA has made Grain Handling Facilities a Top Safety Priority

Are you as a farmer/ business owner/manager concerned you have a safety program that works?

 Standards and regulations are extremely challenging for farming agricultural businesses to interpret given the constant changes and amendments posed by State and Federal standards and regulations. Some of the tasks at grain handling facilities are extremely dangerous to anyone who have not had the proper training. The challenge of regulatory compliance for grain handling facilities can be achieved only if the grain industry operations people have a good understanding of the compliance requirements.

Our information packed seminar April 7th was a success!
 It is our hope that by providing training sessions such as the one held April 7th in Dorchester will help the local farmers, patrons, members, agricultural business and community to better understand your responsibilities as an owner/manager of a grain handling facility, and help you create a safety culture that will compliment and support the growth of your business.

Our meeting April 7th featured 
Dorchester, WI 54425

Presenters: Ms. Mary Bauer, OSHA Compliance Assistance Specialist
  Mr. Nathan Scholze, Safety Consultant, PCS, Inc.
  Ms. Lois Klimpke, Safety Coordinator, Heartland Cooperative Services
• Introduction
• Grain Handling Standard Changes
• General safety considerations
• Grain dust explosions causes and prevention
• Grain entrapment and grain storage structure entry
• Permit-Required Confined Spaces Information
• Machine guarding/entanglement prevention
• OSHA agricultural initiatives
• Anhydrous ammonia safety awareness
• Manure Pit Safety Awareness

We look forward to additional presentation in the future covering grain handling as well as other health and safety topics. For more safety information please see the links below