Nebraska Grain and Feed Association
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OSHA TO STEP - UP LOCAL EMPHASIS PROGRAM FOR GRAIN ELEVATORS

ARE YOUR SAFETY PRACTICES AND YOUR SAFETY PROGRAM READY FOR AN OSHA INSPECTION?

Announced earlier this year, the Omaha area OSHA office is conducting a local emphasis program on grain elevators.  OSHA says: “A list of all known grain handling facilities will be identified and an inspection schedule developed.  There are numerous safety and health hazards associated with grain handling operations.  Suffocations and falls are the two leading causes of deaths.  Other hazards include fires, explosions from combustible dust, electrocutions, and injuries from improperly guarded machinery.  Inspections will be conducted to determine if such conditions exist at each establishment.

OSHA says in fiscal year 2009 it conducted 104 inspections in these industries with 667 violations cited.  The majority of hazards identified were for bin entry, housekeeping for dust control, non-approved electrical in bucket elevators, emergency action plans and training.  Several violations were also identified for fall and machine guarding/lockout hazards.

There was a commercial grain engulfment death in Nebraska earlier this year and a near death on an on-farm grain bin.  We know the hazards and we know how to avoid them.  Do you have an ample supply of bin entry permits?  Do you use it?  A bin entry permit is simply a checklist of precautions to be taken before anyone is allowed to enter a grain bin.  By taking just a couple of minutes of time to properly fill out and post a bin entry permit won't only save you a fine, it could save a life!  Don’t make headlines.  Don’t be put into a situation of telling a family that their loved one was lost in your workplace.

Please reread what OSHA says above.   Grain elevator managers should be making sure their bin entry procedures are adequate and are being followed, that their fall protection system trackside is being used, that their housekeeping is up-to-date and documented, that their machine guarding is in place and their lockout, tagout procedures are being used all the time.  These things should be done to protect human lives and avoid human suffering.  It shouldn’t take an OSHA local emphasis program, but that is what’s coming.

 

 

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Nebraska Grain and Feed Association
4600 Valley Road, Suite 416
Lincoln, NE 68510-4844
Phone: 402-476-6174
Fax: 402-476-3401