Worker Safety in Grain Facilities

July 25, 2014
By

INDIANAPOLIS — As local farm workers prepare for this year’s harvest, the Indiana Department of Labor reminds employers and employees about grain handling facility hazards and how to prevent occupational injuries and fatalities.

On July 10, 2014 a 9-year-old boy died after falling into a grain bin in Lancaster, Wis., underscoring the dangerous conditions of grain facilities. In June 2013 a Hoosier farm worker in LaPorte County was killed in a grain bin accident.

Grain bins across the U.S. have killed more than 180 people and injured more than 675 since 1980. Grain dust is highly flammable and is the number one cause of grain bin explosions.

“The safety of our farm workers is of paramount importance to our Indiana agriculture industry,” said Commissioner Rick J. Ruble. “Grain handling facilities are extremely dangerous, and workers must recognize the dangers and take all necessary precautions.”

Employees working in or near grain handling facilities should never work alone because they are exposed to significant occupational safety and health hazards including falls, electrocution, engulfment, auger entanglement and dust explosions. Working with a partner ensures help is always nearby.

Additionally, employers and employees can reduce the likelihood of worker injury, illness or death by taking the following precautions:

  • Prevent falls: Provide all employees with a body harness and lifeline, or a boatswains chair, and ensure it is properly secured before entering a grain bin.
  • Prevent electrocution and auger entanglement: Before grain bin or silo entry, shut down and lock out all equipment power sources. Station an observer outside the bin or silo to continuously monitor and track the employee inside the bin.
  • Prevent engulfment: Prohibit employees from walking-down the grain or using similar practices to make the grain flow. Prohibit entry into bins or silos underneath a bridging condition or where there is a build-up of grain products on side walls that could shift and bury a worker.
  • Prevent dust explosions: Prior to entry, test the air within a bin or silo for the presence of combustible and toxic gases and make sure there is sufficient oxygen for safe entry.

Employers and employees are strongly encouraged to learn about safe grain handling procedures and take the necessary precautions. To learn more about safe grain handling practices click here.

 

Listen Live

Upcoming Events

Sep
5
Sat
11:00 am Annual Classic Cruise-In
Annual Classic Cruise-In
Sep 5 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Ripley Crossing presents their Annual Classic Cruise-In on September 5 from 11 am – 2 pm at 1200 Whitlach Way in Milan. Food & drinks, live music, vendors, and door prizes will be featured and available. Free will offering will be accepted for registration the day of the event. Trophies will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place!
12:00 pm 22nd Annual Metamora Grad School... @ Old School Grounds Shelter House
22nd Annual Metamora Grad School... @ Old School Grounds Shelter House
Sep 5 @ 12:00 pm
This is a casual reunion for anyone who ever attended Metamora Grade School, and an excellent opportunity to reminisce about the good ‘ole days at Metamora School. Take yourself back in time as you visit with some of your former schoolmates. The Metamora School days are remembered by many from this era as days of hardships, yet they also remain as some of their fondest memories of youth. The school has been gone about 36 years now, since about 1979. Please feel welcome to bring your family, old photographs or class pictures, or any old school mementos. All ages are welcome. Attendance in past years has ranged from 25 – 100. This event is very informal and will begin with a pitch-in lunch at noon. Dress appropriately for visiting at the outside, open shelter. Restrooms are available a couple hundred yards away at the State Building. Please bring a covered dish and your own beverage. Let’s keep our memories of the old school alive as long as we’re alive. Call Jim Hunter at 812-350-8253 for more information.
12:00 pm Batesville Crush Girls Car Wash @ McDonald's
Batesville Crush Girls Car Wash @ McDonald's
Sep 5 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Batesville Crush Girls are having a car wash this Saturday, September 5th, at McDonald’s in Batesville from 12-4. We have 2 tournaments coming up in September & October so we definitely need everyone to get their car washed on Saturday!! Have your Crush wash your car.

View Calendar