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Grain Industry Highlights Safety Concerns, With OSHA’s Help

By / Apr 8, 2019 (4x6/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

In the annual Stand-Up for Grain Safety Week, the workplace safety agency partners with the National Grain and Feed Association to help industry employers educate workers on grain bin hazards.

A partnership between an association and a federal agency recently put the spotlight on one of the riskiest types of work in all of agriculture: working inside a grain storage bin.

In last month’s Stand-Up for Grain Safety Week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Grain and Feed Association urged employers in grain handling, feed manufacturing, and grain processing to hold events, or “stand-ups,” to keep their employees up to date on how to stay safe on the job. Workers in these operations are regularly exposed to respiratory risks, fall hazards, and the risk of entrapment or grain engulfment while working inside a storage bin.

The event was born of an alliance between OSHA, NGFA, and several related organizations, including the American Feed Industry Association, Grain Elevator and Processing Society, Grain Handling Safety Coalition, Nationwide Insurance, and University of Texas at Arlington.

Speaking to World-Grain, NGFA Vice President of Safety and Regulatory Affairs Jess McCluer noted that the scope of the event, now in its third year, was expanded for 2019. “I think the way that it went last year, a lot of other groups wanted to be a part of it,” McCluer said. “More organizations wanted to collaborate with us to deliver this important information.”

The NGFA collaboration is one of many that OSHA manages. Other associations that the federal watchdog works with include the International Safety Equipment Association, highlighting the importance of personal protective equipment; the International Window Cleaning Association, promoting best practices for high-rise window washers; and the Robotic Industries Association, sharing information on safety concerns related to robotics.

McCluer said NGFA’s collaboration with OSHA benefited the agency as much as it did the association.

“It’s an opportunity for outreach and communication, and it’s an opportunity for them to learn more about our industry, just as it is for our members to learn more about OSHA,” he said.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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