This is Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week, a program sponsored by the Alliance, a collaboration of OSHA, the National Grain and Feed Association, the Grain Handling Safety Council, and the Grain Elevator and Processing Society.
The group is offering free safety webinars throughout the week. Tuesday’s theme is electrical safety, followed by heat stress and other weather hazards on Wednesday, and personal protective equipment on Thursday. Friday’s session will cover falls, crush injuries, and injuries caused when struck by equipment. Sessions are available in English and Spanish. Register at standup4grainsafety.org.
Accidents show need for education
Each May, Purdue University releases its Confined Space Summary, which examines all documented agricultural confined-space accidents. The most recent report shows that in 2020, there were 64 total cases, more than half of which were fatal. Incidents included 35 grain entrapments, 7 falls, 4 asphyxiations, and 12 equipment entanglements inside or around confined spaces.
While down slightly from 2019, those numbers are well above the 5- and 10-year average. However, the report authors note, more than two-thirds of U.S. grain storage is on farms which are exempt from OSHA injury reporting requirements, so the true numbers are undoubtedly much higher.
Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week was instituted in 2017 by OSHA Region 7 and the Great Plains chapter of the Grain Elevator and Processing Society. OSHA and the National Grain and Feed Association joined the effort in 2018.
Find educational resources and other information about grain bin safety at standup4grainsafety.org.