Safety & Security

Information on oil spills, bioterrorism, homeland security, and worker protection standards.

Best Practices for Processing Suspect Fire Bales At Cotton Gins and Cotton Warehouses 

There is a necessity for a fire prevention policy between cotton gins and cotton warehouses to minimize the risk of fire hazards in the storing and shipping of lint. These practices should be used when detecting and handling suspect fire bales: where a visible flame was present in the gin, a detection device alerted a risk and was verified by gin staff, an odor of fire was present, or any other flame risk where ignition could be possible is found. These practices are recommended by the Council as a minimum standard when working with insurance companies.  

Warehouseman Best Practices

Agriculture Guaranty, LLC published recommendations for cotton warehouses to ease in acquiring and maintaining insurance. These best practices review fire control, building recommendations, lift truck requirements, processing fire bales, bale dimensions and warehouse coverage.

Revised OSHA Reporting Requirements
On September 18, 2014, OSHA issued a final rule revising its occupational injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting requirements in 29 C.F.R. 1904. The new requirements became effective on January 1, 2015. 

Round Module System Safety
Volume VI of the National Cotton Ginners Association's Safety Series is a 17-minute training video that includes information about module system safety, round module handling and wrap removal with a strong emphasis on safety and contamination prevention.

Worker Protection Standard
Training of workers and handlers, the use and maintenance of personal protection equipment and guidance on understanding the regulation itself are covered in this series developed in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency.

SPCC For Farms and Gins
The deadline dates by which owners or operators of regulated facilities must prepare or amend and implement a SPCC Plan have past. Continued Plan evaluation, facility inspection, testing and record keeping requirements, as well as employee training, are important components of implementing and maintaining a SPCC Plan.

Fire and Building Codes and Storage of Baled Cotton Cotton fibers were considered combustible fibers and listed in a Hazardous Material Classification in the fire and building code standards for the two national fire and building code organizations in the U.S. -- International Code Council and National Fire Protection Association after they were revised in 2000.

NCC Memo/Fact Sheet on FDA’s Food/Feed Bioterrorism Rule
The NCC issued a memo and fact sheet to the ginner and cottonseed sectors regarding FDA’s Food/Feed Bioterrorism Rule.

Hazardous Materials Transport Rules
U.S. Department of Transportation rules require agricultural producers who transport certain hazardous materials to develop and implement a transportation security plan.

Guide to Safe Trucking
The Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference (AFTC) of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) has published a Manager's Guide to Safe Trucking During Agricultural Planting and Harvest Season.

Warehouse Security Plans for CCC Storage Agreement Compliance
The NCC developed this fact sheet for our warehouse members in order to inform them about the steps they need to consider when attempting to comply with Presidential Directives and USDA reporting requirements. This fact sheet is also our effort to identify useful security plan resources.

DHS Chemical Rule May Impact Farms, Gins, Oil Mills
The Department of Homeland Security published the final Appendix A of the Chemical Facilities Anti-Terrorism Standard (CFATS). As this rule may impact individual gin, farm and oil mill facilities that store propane, ammonia and ammonium nitrate, industry members are urged to review and determine if a "Top Screen" needs to be completed.

Biosecurity/Agroterrorism: Voluntary USDA Pre-Harvest Security Guidelines and Checklist for Growers
Farm security presents unique challenges for producers. However, there are some basic measures that can be instituted at the farm level to secure producers' farmsteads. To help the agricultural producer reduce security risks at the farm, USDA has developed some voluntary guidelines and checklist that provides a pre-harvest security resource.

Why Cotton Ginning Is Considered Agriculture
This article, which appeared in the April 16, 2005 issue of Cotton Gin & Oil Mill Press magazine, demonstrates that cotton ginning is correctly classified as an agricultural operation instead of general industry to avoid being subjected to inappropriate, burdensome, and costly general industry standards, which could adversely affect both the operation of a gin and cotton quality.

Powered Industrial Trucks 
This category of powered machines are commonly referred to as forklifts or lift trucks. In the cotton industry, these machines are often the primary method used to move baled cotton at warehouses and gins. Because of special hazards associated with these trucks, personnel operating or overseeing the operation of these types of machines are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with USDOL OSHA rules and guidelines governing the operation of this category of equipment.


USDOL OSHA HCS Fact Sheet and Related Information

Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) Final Rule brings the US into alignment with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)...

A recently activated page on the National Cotton Ginners' Association website contains links for several informative documents that explaining how the new HCS will impact the cotton ginning industry.

In addition, information about the new HCS previously HazCom 1994) comes from organizations like W.W. Grainger, Inc. For example, Grainger's publication Quick Tip #250 explains that the familiar material safety data sheets (MSDS) will now be referred to as SDS (Safety Data Sheets).

Related Information from OSHA: Comparison of NFPA 704 and HazCom 2012 Labels nd OSHA Hazard Communications Guidance for Manufacturers, Importers, and Employers (8564KB)