Grain Industry Safety Week

OSHA and the National Grain and Feed Association are emphasizing safety in the grain handling industry.

The two organizations are collaborating in conjunction with the American Feed Industry Association and the Great Plains Chapter of the Grain Elevator and Processing Society to host Stand-Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention Week from April 9 through 13.

The campaign, which aims to provide information, guidance, and access to resources to help protect workers, includes a free webinar held on April 10 that will emphasize ways to prevent injuries and fatalities from grain bin engulfment, with toolbox talks on lockout/tagout, fall prevention, and grain handling.

In support of the prevention week, the University of Texas-Arlington has established a website with information on hosting or participating in local stand-up events, and educational resources for the grain industry.

OSHA’s Grain Handling Facilities standard sets requirements that employers must follow to protect and train workers exposed to the hazards of grain handling facilities. The standard establishes common-sense safety practices and specific controls that can prevent worker injuries and deaths, and identifies specific controls for engulfment hazards that are covered below.

OSHA’s standard also covers controls for other common issues at these facilities, including, dust accumulation and explosions, hazardous atmospheres, confined space entry, and emergencies.

States that operate their own occupational safety and health programs approved by Federal OSHA enforce similar standards but may have different or additional requirements. A list of State plans is available.

According to OSHA’s HAZARD ALERT, entering grain storage bins is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. To reduce the risk of engulfment and suffocation, do not allow workers to enter a grain storage bin unless it is absolutely necessary. If a worker must enter a grain storage bin, these simple hazard control measures must be implemented.