Portland, OR — As a leading supplier of grains and pulses, Columbia Grain International (CGI) works with over 8,000 farmers across the northern United States, processing and distributing their grain to countries around the world. CGI operates over 40 grain elevators across their company footprint.
They understand that every year, hundreds or people are injured or die from preventable hazards, while working in grain storage and handling, and that safety doesn’t have to be big to be effective.
Each year, CGI is committed to safety through training, daily reminders, continued education, and making small changes in the workplace or how tasks are performed to ensure a positive impact. CGI employees will participate in Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week, March 29-April 2, 2021.
An outreach initiative by The Alliance, a coalition that includes the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week raises awareness of the many hazards that come with working in the grain handling industry by offering resources and activities each day on the best practices for mitigating these hazards.
CGI employees must adhere to safety precautions when working in grain storage areas. Throughout the year, CGI Safety Director, William Spreeman conducts safety training, exercises, and workshops that include emergency action plans from Safety Made Simple, an agricultural industry safety education program with grain handling courses on topics like grain entrapment and engulfment, safely entering grain storage structures, and how to prevent grain dust explosions.
CGI’s past safety trainings have included screenings of the film “Silo,” which depicts a grain engulfment tragedy that hits a small town. This March, the company will be screening “Roberta’s Request.”
This documentary film tells the story of Kansas grain elevator worker, Dwayne Seifried, who died in a grain entrapment accident at the Garden City Co-Op, and was made as per the wishes of his widow, the film’s namesake Roberta Seifried.
When asked by her late husband’s general manager if there was anything he could do for her, she simply asked that the Garden City Co-Op do everything it could to ensure that what happened to her husband, never happen again. “Roberta’s Request” has been screened in lectures and demonstrations across the United States and internationally.
Beyond its endeavors to educate its employees about best safety practices for grain elevator work, CGI is prepared for a rescue, if need be.
Their facilities are equipped with the proper equipment to rescue an entrapped worker as an essential part of its grain handling safety plan.
Over the years, CGI has donated grain rescue tubes and rescue augers to several of the local responders in their trade area including the Valley City Fire Department in Valley City, ND, home to one of its’ many facilities, and CGI continues to support grain safety initiatives throughout the industry.
“Stand Up for Grain Safety week is a time for us to speak with our employees and patrons about the best safety practices, be it conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job-specific identified hazards,” said Spreeman.
“We believe it’s critical for every person who works in or around grain facilities to join the effort. Achieving a “World Class Safety Culture” is one of our core corporate values, and paramount to CGI’s mission of cultivating growth.”
About Columbia Grain International
Since 1978, Columbia Grain International™ (CGI) has been Cultivating Growth™ as a global leader in the origination, processing, logistics, and distribution of high-quality bulk grains, pulses, edible beans, oilseeds and organics for U.S. domestic and worldwide export markets. Headquartered in Portland, OR, CGI’s reliable supply chain spans the western region of the U.S.