Stand-Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention Week Under Way

Companies can take part by providing a focused activity or toolbox talk on topics such as lockout/tagout, walk down, fall prevention, permitting, or any other prevention measures.

OSHA and the National Grain and Feed Association, which formed an alliance to provide information, guidance, and access to resources to help protect employees, are collaborating with the American Feed Industry Association and the Great Plains Chapter of the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) to host a "Stand-Up for Grain Engulfment Prevention Week" during April 9-13. Calling it a "Week of Awareness," the partners are calling attention to this hazard and reaching out to employers and workers to get them involved in improving worker protections, reducing injuries, and preventing engulfment deaths.

Companies can take part by providing a focused activity or toolbox talk on topics such as lockout/tagout, walk down, fall prevention, permitting, or any other prevention measures. The events should provide information to workers about hazards, protective methods, and the company's safety policies, goals, and expectations, according to the week's website created by The University of Texas-Arlington; it offers information on hosting or participating in local stand-up events, as well as educational resources for the grain industry.

During the event, employees will be able to conduct site activities such as employee training, hazard hunts, audits of prevention measures, corrections of any identified hazards, and a review of lockout/tagout and engulfment prevention measures and procedures. Companies can print a certificate of participation showing their employees' involvement in the initiative.

A 30-minute safety training DVD developed jointly by the NGFA and GEAPS specifically for employees of grain-handling, feed-manufacturing, and grain-processing operations is available, in English or Spanish, via the website.

"Employees in the grain industry must be trained on grain-handling hazards and have the necessary tools to ensure they enter and leave a bin or silo safely," said Kimberly Stille, OSHA regional administrator in Kansas City. "This campaign is intended to encourage industry leaders, farmers, and workers to implement best practices and effective safety and health programs to save lives."

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