More than just fertilizer.
Consistent with its commitment to sustainability, companies in the fertilizer industry invest significantly in systems and processes that enhance worker and community safety.
Safe and Secure
Industry safety performance among participating TFI member companies continues to improve when compared to the 2013 State of the Industry report baseline. The fertilizer industry’s safety record continues to significantly outperform industry peers in the manufacturing and wholesale/blending sectors as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL), Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Across the fertilizer sector, the overall lost time incident rate has dropped from 1.1 to 0.8 cases per 100 full time equivalent employees between 2013 and 2016.
Industry Spotlight: Yara
Yara is the world’s largest producer of ammonia, nitrates, and NPK’s, distributing those products safely all around the globe. Ammonia is a major component of many fertilizers used in the United States and must be kept under pressure at all times. Any sudden, accidental releases of ammonia are potentially hazardous, and Yara places a high value on ensuring the safety of employees and the local communities in which they operate.
Yara’s “Safe by Choice” platform trains and manages employees throughout the company to take an active role in creating their culture of safety. There is a disciplined, zero tolerance mindset proving safety performance and operational excellence go hand in hand.
That culture is put on display at Yara North America’s Tampa, Fla., import ammonia terminal. Ammonia moves through this terminal to service the production of phosphates and industrial applications in the area. By the end of 2016, terminal employees celebrated an impressive safety milestone of 11,875 days without a lost-time injury. That’s nearly 33 years!
That commitment extends to community safety and awareness through collaboration with local first responders and other community members. Yara employees routinely conduct community training events to ensure readiness if it is needed.
Safe and Secure
The fertilizer industry’s quest to be as safe as possible extends beyond the gates of its facilities and reaches into the communities in which it operates. Up and down the value chain, the industry invests in safety training to protect employees and surrounding communities. Training local emergency responders how to react to and mitigate accidents involving different types of fertilizers is an investment in the safety of the entire community.
Industry Spotlight: AdvanSix, Inc.
“The safety of our citizens and the people who do business in our community is our first priority. The Hopewell Fire Department works closely with AdvanSix on extensive training, regular emergency drills, tours of the facilities and other activities to ensure we are ready for any kind of incident and have a swift and coordinated response. This cooperation is vital to us as we do our jobs.”
— Chief Donald Hunter, the Hopewell Fire Department, Hopewell, Virginia
ResponsibleAg, Inc., is a non-profit organization founded by companies in the fertilizer industry to assist agribusinesses as they seek to comply with federal environmental, health, safety, and security rules regarding the safe handling and storage of fertilizer products. The organization provides participating businesses a federal regulatory compliance assessment relating recommendations for corrective action where needed, and a robust suite of resources to assist in this regard. Of the issues found during ResponsibleAg audits, it is reported that 99 percent are administrative or paperwork-related.
By the Numbers
Industry Spotlight: Willard Agri-Service
“We always want to do the right thing and remain committed to our employees, our communities, and our environment. ResponsibleAg is a great resource and tool that provides comprehensive compliance information. It’s the most valuable resource our employees have.”
— Kevin Chambers, Willard Agri-Service
Industry Spotlight: ResponsibleAg
ResponsibleAg maintains an auditor training facility in Owensboro, Ky. The training program certifies that program auditors are up to speed on federal compliance requirements and that they have experience with the safe handling and storage of fertilizer. High level personnel from the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Chemical Safety Board (CSB), and the offices of Reps. James Comer (R-Ky.) and Bret Guthrie (R-Ky.) participated in a tour of the facility. CSB Chairperson Vanessa Sutherland and DHS Infrastructure Security Compliance Division Acting Director Amy Graydon were among the attendees.
From 2014 through 2016, companies in this report invested an average of $4.3 billion dollars annually in new facilities and in upgrades of existing infrastructure. These investments enhance safety, increase production efficiencies, reduce energy and water use, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and strengthen the U.S. economy.
Capital investments by fertilizer retailers are equally important to industry sustainability. Retailers are investing in technology and tools to protect the environment by helping retailers assist farmers in applying 4R Nutrient Stewardship in nutrient management plans. High-tech farm equipment often comes with a price tag that extends well into six figures. By using the tools of precision agriculture on their customers’ farms, retailers meet or exceed economic and environmental goals.
Capital Investments (in billions)
Industry Spotlight: Growmark
“Making capital investments helps us ensure we are able to provide a reliable supply of products to our customers so they can in turn get resources to their farmer customers when and where they are needed.”
— Barry Schmidt, Vice-President of retail business, Growmark, Inc.
Industry Spotlight: Simplot
The J.R. Simplot Company regularly invests in operations, especially when innovative capabilities are obvious. A recent such investment includes a logistics and vehicle maintenance program that tracks, monitors, and reports on vital statistics and information about the fleet of mining equipment. Early reporting enabled an increase in load factors on haul resulting in a reduction in the number of haul truck trips, therefore reducing carbon emissions, improving road conditions, and contributing to employee safety.
Industry Spotlight: CF Industries
Years of investment by CF Industries culminated in completed capacity expansion projects at its facilities in Donaldsonville, La., in September 2016 (now the largest nitrogen plant in the world), and Port Neal, Iowa, in December 2016.