The NGFA is committed to promoting safety and health in the workplace, and shares the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) commitment to protecting employees.
The NGFA’s extensive efforts to enhance safety include unprecedented research and education efforts launched in the early 1980s that helped lead to a dramatic reduction in the number of fire and explosion incidents in commercial grain-handling facilities in the late 1970s. The industry has demonstrated its commitment, before and after the promulgation of the OSHA’s grain handling standard, 29 CFR 1910.272, in 1988.
OSHA and NGFA Alliance
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) formed an alliance, which will allow the grain, feed and processing industry to work more closely and collaboratively with the regulatory agency. Learn more on the Alliance page.
OSHA Emphasis Program Topics
Based on these programs, inspections will primarily focus on the six major hazard areas of engulfment, falls, auger entanglement, struck by, combustible dust explosions and electrocution.
Training & Education
- Hazard Communication
- Quality Control
- Preparing Bins for Harvest
- Vehicle Struck-By
- Combustible Dust and OSHA Housekeeping Requirements
- Bulk Material Storage and Handling
- Dust Suppression Techniques
- Lockout/Tagout & Energy Isolation
- Lifting, Rigging, and Hoisting
- Hand Tool Safety
- Shuttle Loading and Rail Safety
- Trenching and Excavation Safety
NGFA Director of Safety and Regulatory Affairs Jess McCluer will lead several safety seminars over the next few months starting in January 2016. Each year, NGFA jointly sponsors safety seminars with affiliated state and regional grain and feed associations. The one-day conferences focus on keeping grain handling employees physically safe.
He will travel around the country to discuss emerging and evolving regulatory issues from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) as well as overviews of implementing safety and health management plans and quality management practices for grain handling facilities.
Please see safety seminar dates and presentations here.
Join NGFA Manager of Education, Training and Regulatory Affairs Jim Seibert to brush up on the basic safety precautions and equipment needed to enter a grain bin. This short video, funded by the National Grain and Feed Foundation, breaks down each step of the process to ensure managers and employees don’t miss a step and stay safe every day. Watch now.Your Safety Matters
Developed jointly by the NGFA and Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS), this safety training DVD is geared specifically to employees of grain handling, feed manufacturing and grain processing operations. The 30-minute DVD, which also is available in Spanish, addresses many safety-related issues, including confined space safety. You can preview the video in English or Spanish. (Order Form)Grain Bin Safety on the Farm
The National Corn Growers Association and the National Grain and Feed Foundation (NGFF) – the NGFA’s research and education arm – completed a joint DVD project to promote grain bin safety on the farm. Preview the video for more information.Don’t Go With the Flow
Developed in 1998 by Purdue University under a contract with the NGFF, this program reviews the hazards associated with flowing grain and the most common types of grain entrapments at commercial facilities. Preview the video for more information. (Order Form)
- This guide provides a basic overview of the changes made to the general industry standards addressing slip, trip, and fall hazards found in Subpart D of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. The guide is meant to serve as a foundation upon which individual companies can build their own tailored plans specific to their facility, operations, personnel, and other conditions. Sample documents found in the appendices provide templates that may be used to update site-specific programs and procedures.
- On May 12, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule requiring certain employers to submit data electronically from their work-related injury records to the agency. The final rule also solidifies OSHA’s anti-retaliation protections for employees reporting work-related injuries and illnesses.The final rule generally becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2017. However, compliance with anti-retaliation provisions and reporting deadlines will be phased in through 2019.
- NGFA and the American Feed Industry Association released a hazard communication compliance guide for consideration and use by grain handling, feed, ingredient and processing facilities. With a June 1 implementation deadline approaching for compliance with major elements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s recently revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), the associations created the document to ensure the industry is prepared for updated compliance requirements. For more information, download the free, nearly 50-page document.
- Please note – If you share the document, please include the following information: “This document is distributed with the permission of the National Grain and Feed Association, the American Feed Industry Association, the Corn Refiners Association and the North American Millers Association.” We also ask that the credit include the name of the publication and the publication date (e.g., “The document Guidance: Hazard Communication Program at Grain Handling, Feed, Ingredient & Processing Facilities was originally published in May 2015”).
- For more information, see the recorded webinar where experts from the organizations highlighted recent changes and provided answers to members’ most frequently asked questions.
- NGFA prepared a guidance document to assist grain handling facilities in evaluating their boot pits to determine whether they meet OSHA’s definition of permit-required confined spaces.
- This guide provides basic concepts to assist grain handling facilities in developing and implementing a sweep auger operations safety policy.
National Fire Protection Association Study
A significant increase in costs and loss of overall storage capacity for both concrete and steel bins were the findings of recent study on the application of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) explosion/deflagration venting requirements per latest editions of NFPA 68 – Standard on Explosion Protection by Deflagration Venting. The NFPA standards are commonly used in North America (Canada, United States and Mexico) as the basis for determining if explosion venting is required and if so, the total amount of vent area required.
This study was financed by the National Grain and Feed Foundation and was conducted by the engineering firm Van Sickle, Allen and Associates in Minneapolis, Minn. The NFPA briefly considered conducting a research study to determine appropriate venting ratio data for silos utilized for storing agricultural commodities, including grains and oilseeds. The NFPA research was intended to follow up on one conducted through the NGFA’s Fire and Explosion Research Program in 1983. However, the NFPA Foundation ultimately decided not to pursue new research.
For more information, see an Executive Summary on the report.
To order a full copy of the 90-page study, the cost is $250 for non-NGFA members and $100 for NGFA members, contact Jess McCluer, NGFA vice president of safety and regulatory affairs.
Recent articles, press releases and issue advisories on safety.