During this, Agricultural Safety Awareness Week, OSHA is reminding grain elevator employers about the dangers of entering grain bins. Despite outreach in the form of a hazard alert and notification letters to thousands of grain elevator operators, agricultural workers continue to enter grain storage facilities without proper equipment, precautions and training.
Suffocation is a leading cause of death in grain storage bins, according to OSHA, which says that whenever possible, workers should stay out of grain bins. Those who must enter should never do so alone or without training. Whenever workers must enter bins, employers are required to ensure proper precautions, including permit use, lockout/tagout, body harnesses, lifelines, and communications between the worker and an observer stationed outside the grain bin.
Additional materials on grain handling are available from OSHA, including a fact sheet, wallet card and Safety and Health Topics page.
Illinois' Grain Handling Safety Coalition has produced a public service announcement to get the word out about engulfment hazards for Ag Safety week