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OSHA Issues Stern Warning to Grain Handling Facilities (Combustible Dust)

Posted on September 1, 2010

Following several safety violations in August, OSHA is sternly reminding grain handling facilities to comply with the proper safety and maintenance procedures, outlined in the Grain Handling Facility Standard.

At a recent press conference, David Michael, OSHA Administrator stated, “I am appalled at the outrageously reckless behavior of some operators of grain storage facilities.  OSHA has investigated several cases involving worker entry into grain storage bins or elevators where we have found that the employer was aware of the hazard and OSHA standards but has failed to train or protect their workers. OSHA has aggressively pursued these cases and will continue to use our enforcement authority to the fullest extent possible…We will not tolerate noncompliance with our Grain Handling Facilities Standard, and we will take violations of these standards very seriously.”

And if that didn’t get people’s attention, The Wisconsin Agri-Service Association has notified it’s members of OSHA’s new local emphasis program for grain handlers, in which the agency will randomly select a cycle of 10 facilities at a time within each of the four Wisconsin area districts (WI, IL, OH) to inspect them for major hazard areas. The Local Emphasis Program will  investigate hazards like engulfment, falls, combustible dust, and electrocution and  focus on feed mills, ethanol plants, pet food manufacturers, grain elevators and warehouses.

For facilities looking to bulk up their maintenance efforts in response to OSHA’s strict message, our A17 EXP vacuum cleaner is a top choice among grain handling facilities. It’s an air-operated vacuum (often preferred) that’s ATEX-approved (Ex) for Zones 1, 2, 21 and 22. It’s also designed to meet the requirements for use in Class I, Group D, and Class II, Groups E, F, and G locations. More info on our website.