To view this as a web page, click here



September 14, 2020
Safety Tip of the Week delivered to your inbox each Monday by

Dump Pits

During harvest, grain elevators welcome lines of full trucks with drivers eager to dump their crops and get back to their fields.

Traffic levels increase, inexperienced vehicle drivers, trucks/wagons in poor repair, inexperienced temporary workers, and long hours/fatigue mix to create potentially dangerous working conditions.

Three tenets of dump pit safety:

1. Never walk in front of a truck, even if you think they are out of gear.

2. Make sure the driver sees you before operating gates or doors.

3. Make sure the driver sees you before exiting the dump pit.

Be alert and assume a vehicle could at any moment because you will not have much, if any, time to react.

Communication is key: Using consistent hand signals, make sure drivers are following your directions, and not operating their equipment until told to do so.

Trucks and wagons are bigger. Know where to stand in the receiving area so you can clearly be seen by the driver.

High-visibility clothing is important in a dump it, and high-visibility gloves can help with hand signals during the unloading operation.

There are many different vehicles with all types of opening mechanisms.

Straight trucks with gates, tandems/cargo door trucks, wagons, hopper bottom trailers, end dump semitrailers are among the common types.

Many are intuitive to open, but less-experienced workers should be trained to recognize and safely operate each kind.

When opening a gate or door to dump, stay out of the grain stream and stand to the side. The grain is under tremendous pressure as it dumps, and foreign objects, such as ladders or cellphones, have been known to come shooting out as well.

After dumping, be sure trucks and wagons are secure and workers are clear before signaling the truck to leave the pit area.


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).

Last week's Safety Tip of The Week: 10 Ways to Make Your Facility Safe During Harvest



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: