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September 21, 2020
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Harvest Prep - Emergency Action Plans

With harvest just around the corner, now is a good time for facilities to review emergency action plans in preparation for increased activity and ramping up grain-handling machinery.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires a written emergency action plan as part of the grain handling facilities standard (29 CFR 1910.272).

Examples of situations that require an emergency action plan include:

  • Explosion
  • Fire (grain dryer)
  • Grain bin entrapment
  • Flammable liquid or gas leak
  • Chemical release or spill
  • Structural failure
  • Power failure
  • Natural disaster
  • Workplace violence

An emergency action plan covers evacuation and response of all personnel and visitors.

To reduce the impact from emergencies, it is essential that all employees know their expectations and duties in situations outlined by the plan.

An emergency action plan must be in writing, kept in the workplace, and available for employees to review.

As part of the plan, designate evacuation routes and a meeting place to account for everyone in the workplace. A prominently displayed floorplan should clearly map designated emergency paths and exits.

Create a readily accessible emergency contact list for law enforcement, fire departments, ambulance services, poison control, heavy equipment operators, electric and gas utilities, etc.

Ensure employee training and understanding of the plan. 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).

Previous Safety Tips in This Series

10 Ways to Make Your Facility Safe During Harvest

Harvest Protection - PPE

Dump Pits



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

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