Grain News


NGFA's President Randy Gordon Addresses Safety Issues

Date Posted: December 10, 2013

National Grain & Feed Association President Randy Gordon discusses the Congressional Outlook (interview conducted in mid-November).

What things will NGFA be doing in the area of safety in the coming year?

We continue to place a tremendous amount of effort on safety education and training.

For one, the National Grain and Feed Foundation has invested funds at Kansas State University to restart its collection of annual grain dust explosion data so the industry can again have accurate metrics on what we believe to be a continuing decline in these tragic incidents.

We’re also working with producer groups, as well as within the grain, feed and processing industry, to disseminate info on grain bin safety awareness.

In addition, the NGFA continues to partner with State Grain and Feed Association affiliates to offer a series of highly popular, one-day regional seminars focusing on key elements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) grain handling standard [29 CFR 1910.272].

These courses highlight industry practices that foster the safety and health of employees working in grain-handling, processing, feed and export facilities they focus heavily on preventing explosions and engulfments.

So far, we have four such events scheduled for 2014, including:

• Rocky Mountain Agribusiness Association: Jan. 13, Denver, CO.

• Nebraska Grain and Feed Association: Jan. 21, Grand Island, NE.

• Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association and Texas Grain and Feed Association: Feb. 5, Oklahoma City, OK.

• North Dakota Grain Dealers Association: March 26, Fargo, ND.

• South Dakota Grain and Feed Association: Date and location TBD.

2014 Safety Conference. NGFA also continues its partnership with Grain Journal to host an annual safety and health conference.

The 2014 event is scheduled for July 29-31 at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City, MO, and focus on facility management. Topics will include hazard analysis, employee training, audit/investigation and communications/coaching of employees, among other things.

We’re also planning soon to distribute an industry guidance document to address the methods and procedures for operating sweep augers inside grain bins.

It was developed with input from the NGFA Safety, Health and Environmental Quality Committee and the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois.

The document is designed to provide guidance in developing and implementing a sweep auger operations safety policy, based on the ten safety principles included in OSHA’s May 3 memorandum to its regional administrators.

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