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CropLife magazine recently featured Yara North America in its Faces of ResponsibleAg.

Yara was recognized for its outstanding safety record. Its safety program, Safe by Choice, is taught to all personnel. This initiative is based on the belief that all injuries are preventable and that operating safely is an active, personal choice. Yara North America is a proud member of FFAA.

Yara North America is one of the world’s largest producers of nitrogen fertilizers and crop nutrition products, including anhydrous ammonia. The company places great emphasis on the safety of its employees, contractors, customers, and communities in which it operates. The Safe by Choice program empowers employees to take responsibility for the safety of themselves and others. The program has great results, as there has not been a reportable injury since May of 2015 across North America, and in Tampa it is standing at 34 years without a reportable injury.

Success a Matter of Personalized Implementation
The success of Yara’s safety program lies in its personalized implementation. Every employee, including executives like Vice President of Corporate Affairs Gary Vogen, completes a set of online safety modules called Learning Management Systems geared to their particular tasks. For example, Vogen works in the Tampa headquarters and travels extensively, so his modules involve fire safety, safe driving, first aid, and more. Even though the LMS provides training in general awareness of health, safety, environmental, and security requirements, the training doesn’t end there. Yara health, environment, and safety staff also provide hands-on training to terminal employees.

The ResponsibleAg Regulatory Compliance Program has been a cornerstone of Yara’s safety program. Brian Crets, regional health, environment and safety manager, believes that safe handling of fertilizers is the responsibility of all parties, including small retail facilities. Yara maintains certification through the ResponsibleAg Regulatory Compliance Program by having a facility audit conducted by a credentialed auditor every three years. This comprehensive assessment covers the safety, health, security, and environmental regulations relevant to each facility. These assessments give safety officers a chance to exchange knowledge and resources about safety procedures.

Employees at Yara North America start every day with a Safety Toolbox Talk. This is an opportunity for managers to highlight safety items related to that day’s tasks. ResponsibleAg provides a Compliance Assistance Library that is a valuable resource for these talks. It includes concise summaries of regulatory standards with hyperlinks to the standards. This helps busy managers communicate the necessary standards quickly and effectively.

To learn more about safety and how you can make your own workplace safer, go to

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