Grain News

NGFA and Affiliates Schedule First Two 2013 Safety Seminars ... Spokane, WA and Lancaster, PA

Date Posted: March 8, 2013

This article is reprinted by permission from the NGFA Newsletter, Vol. 65, N. 5, March 6 2013.

NGFA recently confirmed the first two dates for 2013 regional safety seminars.

The seminars will be:

• April 26 with the Pacific Northwest Grain and Feed Association at the Northern Quest Resort & Casino in Spokane, Wash.; and

• May 16 with PennAg Industries Association at Farm and Home Center in Lancaster, Pa.

NGFA is offering to partner with State and Regional Grain and Feed Associations to offer up to four regional safety seminars on a first-come, first-serve basis.

‘Safety First’ Reminder

One of the main topics discussed at the safety seminars is confined space entry.

The NGFA is reminding members about common entrapment hazards and applicable OSHA standards to help prevent future incidents.

Applicable OSHA Regulations: First and foremost, a worker should not enter a grain storage unit unless absolutely necessary.

But if it is necessary to have employees enter a bin, silo or tank, follow the applicable practices found in OSHA’s grain handling facilities standard [29 CFR 1910.272], which took effect in 1988, to help minimize the risk.

The OSHA standard includes requirements for employers to:

• issue written permits before entry occurs, unless the employer or its representative is present during the entire operation;

• disconnect, lock-out and tag all mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic equipment feeding or emptying the structure that presents a danger to persons while inside bins, silos or tanks;

• test the atmosphere within a bin, silo or tank for the presence of combustible gases, vapors and toxic agents if the employer has reason to believe such hazards may be present. (Testing for the presence of oxygen also is required unless there is continuous natural air movement or forced air ventilation before and during the time persons are inside the structure. Respirators are to be provided if ventilation cannot eliminate toxicity or oxygen deficiencies.);

• equip persons entering bins, silos or tanks from the top with body harnesses with lifelines, or a boatswain’s chair meeting OSHA requirements; and

• station an observer “equipped to provide assistance” and trained in rescue procedures outside the structure during entry operations.

Employers also are required to provide equipment for rescue operations.

For more information, contact Jess McCluer, director of safety and regulatory affairs, at or 202-289-0873 x23.

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