Columbia Grain International Implements Enhanced Safety Plan For Upcoming Harvest Season

Portland, OR - August, 2020 - Columbia Grain International (CGI), one of the largest processors and exporters of high-quality pulses and grains in the United States, has implemented an enhanced safety plan this harvest season, comprised of essential safety reminders and preventative training seminars, backed by a tactical COVID-19 mitigation strategy, to keep their producers and customers safely connected and protected.

“COVID-19 has created new challenges to the way we typically approach harvest, but that hasn’t changed the fact that our communities need healthy and nutritious food, now more than ever!” said Columbia Grain International, Director of Safety, William Spreeman.

“We’ve been fortunate to continue our harvest training and education, in tandem with our COVID-19 mitigation efforts, to ensure a safe, productive harvest.”

CGI understands the extreme risks every farmer faces daily to ensure Americans have a predictable supply of healthy grains and pulses and is committed to teaching location managers and staff about the importance of preventative maintenance.

CGI recently hosted a free virtual screening of the film SILO, a story about the victim of grain entrapment and its ramifications on not only a small rural town, but the agricultural industry, as a whole.

CGI ensured that is was viewed by employees across all of its facilities, from senior management to location managers.

They have also shared it with their producers.

“Preventative training and education is the most effective solution to mitigating grain entrapment and other dangerous incidents that threaten our industry,” said Spreeman.

“There are simple things you can do to ensure this doesn’t happen, like making sure each grain bin has a lifeline and harness, and that the operator has a monitor.

"The more we talk about the simple steps surrounding how to stay safe, the less we will need to rely on rescue equipment.”

However, CGI is also active in supporting first responders’ work by hosting training sessions at its locations and, in some cases, donating rescue equipment.

At CGI, safety training and education are practiced daily throughout the year. Employees receive a safety message every day, entitled “Safety Toolbox Talks,” which includes a singular topic.

Topics cover everything from ladder safety to dust safety.

CGI has also created new safety protocols to protect its staff and customers this harvest season against the threat of COVID-19.

In the past CGI enjoyed lots of face-to-face interaction with its producers.

CGI is now implementing new preventative measures that allow trucks to stop at a window to talk with a merchandiser at a safe distance while waiting to get weighed in at the scales.

CGI has sought alternative interactions to satisfy their customers’ need for high-quality grains to keep everyone safe.

They are meeting in smaller groups, limiting hosting customers indoors, and practicing social distancing.

CGI continues to cultivate trusted and innovative solutions that nourish life from their local farmers to the world, safely, this harvest and beyond.

For more information, please contact Christina Madrid at 805-617-4143.