Grain handling and storage is key issue for the grain, feed and processing industries and producers. Increased storage capacities combined with larger, faster handling and automated equipment contribute to the safety and health hazards.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) formed an Alliance, which allows the grain, feed and processing industry to work more closely and collaboratively with the agency to address the hazards. Through the Alliance, the NGFA and OSHA are focusing on providing both NGFA members and OSHA staff with information guidance and access to resources regarding the safety and health hazards associated with grain bin entry, machine guarding, respiratory protection, falls, heat, combustible dust, struck-by and lockout/tagout.
Currently, the NGFA, OSHA, the Grain Elevator and Processing Society, the American Feed Industry Association and the Grain Handling Safety Coalition are working together to raise awareness of industry and OSHA resources available to identify potential hazards at grain, feed and processing facilities through the Stand-Up for Grain Safety Week.
There are numerous OSHA- and industry-developed resources available to assist in preventing future incidents. Stand-Up for Grain Safety Week 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. Check out "What is a Safety Stand-Up" for more information.
Companies may participate by providing a focused activity and/or toolbox talk on topics such as engulfment/entrapment, slip, trip, and fall prevention, mechanical hazards, machine guarding, lock-out/tag-out, walk down, or any other prevention measures. These events should provide outreach and training information to workers about hazards, protective methods, and the company's safety policies, goals, and expectations. It is also an opportunity to listen to workers' and their safety concerns and ideas.
During this Week, each day will have an identified safety topic and employers and workers will be able to conduct site activities such as employee training, hazard hunts, audits of prevention measures, corrections of any identified hazards, and a review of engulfment prevention measures and procedures. We want to capture this activity and your proactive involvement, so please complete the information below. You can print a certificate of participation showing your workers involvement in this prevention initiative.
A Safety Stand-Up is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to workers about safety. Any workplace can hold a stand-up by taking a break to focus on "Grain Engulfment Hazards" and reinforcing the importance of grain bin safety. Employers of companies not exposed to grain bin hazards, can also use this opportunity to have a conversation with workers about the other identified job hazards they face, protective methods, and the company's safety policies and goals. It can also be an opportunity for workers to talk to management and provide direct input about grain bin and other job hazards they see.
Anyone who wants to prevent hazards in the workplace can participate in the Stand-Up. In past years, participants included grain-handling, feed-manufacturing and grain-processing facilities, and others all throughout the country.
Through the OSHA and National Grain and Feed Association Alliance, OSHA is partnering with key industry groups to assist with this national outreach effort, including the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS), the Grain Handling Safety Coalition (GHSC), the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), the University of Texas-Arlington (UTA), and Nationwide Insurance, who sponsors the Grain Bin Safety Week, held annually each February.
Companies can conduct a Safety Stand-Up by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job specific identified hazards. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-up that works best for their workplace. To assist employers and workers, please see the following "How to Conduct a Successful Safety Stand-Up" developed in cooperation with GEAPS. See the Suggested Checklist to Prepare for a Successful Stand-Up and Highlights from the Past Stand-Ups. OSHA also hosts an "Events page" with events that are free and open to the public to help employers and workers find events in your area.
If you want to share information with OSHA on your Safety Stand-Up, or provide suggestions on how we can improve future initiatives like this, please send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also share your Stand-Up success story on social media, with the hashtag: #StandUp4GrainSafety. If you plan to host a free event that is open to the public, see OSHA's Events page to submit the event details and who to contact.
Developed jointly by the NGFA and GEAPS, this safety training DVD is geared specifically to workers of grain-handling, feed-manufacturing and grain-processing operations. The 30-minute DVD, which is available in English or Spanish (can be previewed here or ), addresses many safety-related issues, including confined space safety. You can order the full-length video by using this form.
The National Corn Growers Association and the National Grain and Feed Foundation (NGFF) - the NGFA'S research and education arm - earlier this year recently unveiled a joint DVD project to promote grain bin safety on the farm. Preview the for more information.
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The University of Texas at Arlington
Division for Enterprise Development
OSHA Education Center
140 W. Mitchell
Arlington, TX 76010