To view this as a web page, click here



August 31, 2020
Safety Tip of the Week delivered to your inbox each Monday by

10 Ways to Make Your Facility Safe During Harvest

Harvest is just around the corner, and now is a good time to take stock of common-sense ways to protect workers at grain handling facilities.

Millions of bushels of grain, moving trucks, active machinery, grueling hours, and physical stress and illness are all part of the grain-handling environment during this time. Everyone has a role in safety.

Addressing these 10 issues can help mitigate hazards and potential lost-time-work injuries.

  1. Emergency action plan: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires grain handling facilities develop a plan for evacuate personnel and visitors and reduce the impact of an emergency, such as a fire, explosion, entrapment or workplace violence.

  2. Fatigue: When you work a lot of hours, you’re going to be tired, but try to get as must rest as possible. Fatigued workers are less alert and more prone to mistakes.

  3. COVID-19 Protocol: Be honest and report COVID-19 symptoms such as elevated temperature, dry cough, difficulty breathing or contact with someone who has tested positive to your employer. If sick, stay home for your own health, and don’t bring the virus to work, potentially infecting others.

  4. Personal protective equipment: The common PPE worn at harvest time are gloves, hardhats, dust masks, high-visibility clothing, eye protection.

  5. Customer Relations: When customers get to know employees, they respond better to direction during hectic grain deliveries and long truck lines, and safety improves.

  6. Dump pit safety: Never walk in front of a truck, make sure the driver sees you before operating gates, and make sure the driver sees you before exiting the dump pit.

  7. Housekeeping: Sweeping up corn or beans on the ground is critical to preventing slips and broken bones.

  8. Unplugging a grain leg: Never put your hands or a piece of equipment past the slide gate when scooping grain while unplugging a leg. Never “jog” a bucket elevator to clear a “choked” leg.

  9. Grain dryer: Employees must know where the gas and electrical shutoffs are located. Dryer housekeeping is very important to prevent fires from fines or plugged grains.

  10. Back injuries: Stretch, limber up, and rest when necessary to avoid overexertion. Don’t pull when you can push. Avoid twisting at the waist while carrying weight or scooping grain.


This Safety Tip of the Week is based on a Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) Cornbelt Chapter webinar presented Aug. 26 by John Lee, safety-health-environmental services director for the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois (GFAI), Springfield, IL (217-787-2417).

View webinar here.



Follow Our Safety News on Twitter

Receive Our Safety E-News Twice a Month

Safety Tip of the Week Archives


Safety Tip of the Week is edited by Managing Editor Tucker Scharfenberg and published each Monday by Grain Journal, Decatur, IL

800-728-7511 | Website: