grain falling into a truck bed

Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week Aims to Prevent Injuries, Fatalities

From 2020 to 2021, the percentage of fatal grain engulfments decreased by 17 percent, but there’s still more work that can be done.

It’s Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week.

Running from March 27 to 31, 2023, this event, now in its seventh year, focuses on injury reduction and hazard identification in an industry where more than one-third of grain engulfments were fatal in 2021, according to a news release.

Although this number is still high, it’s down from the number in 2020, when 57 percent of grain entrapments were fatal.

“No one should die in a grain engulfment. With proper controls and training, these are preventable incidents. Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week will again focus on preventing grain engulfments by raising awareness on how employers can eliminate the dangerous hazards involved in grain storage operations,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker in the news release.

Held by OSHA, the Grain Handling Safety Coalition, Grain Elevator and Processing Society and National Grain and Feed Association, Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week features local in-person events a video safety message and online sessions. These online sessions occur daily at 10 a.m., with additional sessions held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They will address many topics including maintenance, health issues, heat and weather and anhydrous ammonia and fumigation.

“The alliance’s efforts have helped reduce injuries and deaths in this high-hazard industry, but more must be done to create a culture throughout the industry that makes safety a regular part of doing business,” Parker added.

The news release gives a list of steps to ensure grain safety:

  • “Turning off/locking out equipment before entering a bin or performing maintenance.
  • Never walking down grain to make it flow.
  • Testing the air in the bin before entering.
  • Using a safety harness and anchored lifeline.
  • Placing a trained observer outside of the bin in case of an emergency.
  • Not entering a bin where grain is built up on the side.
  • Controlling the accumulation of grain dust through housekeeping.”

The first Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week was held in 2016.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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