If not done properly, grain handling could be a very dangerous occupation. Grain handling facilities receive, handle, store, process, ship a variety of seeds and grains. Here at North Dakota Crop Improvement Seed Association, we follow all regulations put into place by OSHA. All safety rules and guidelines need to be always followed to ensure our employer’s safety.

Why is grain handling dangerous?

When grain handling, many hazards arise. Exposure to grain storage fumigants can create many health concerns for a worker. If a worker falls into a grain storage bin, they become engulfed in the grain and can end up injuring themselves or even suffocating. Just breathing in the fumigants can cause nervous system damage, heart and vascular disease, lung edema and cancer. 

Others hazards include: 

  • Grain dust explosions
  • Falls from the height of handling facilities 
  • Mechanical equipment that are improperly guarded 
  • Gases that can be beloved from spoiling grain or fugations 

Read more about the hazards in grain storage bins at: https://www.osha.gov/grain-handling#:~:text=Exposure%20to%20fumigants%20may%20cause,suffocating%20or%20otherwise%20injuring%20themselves

How to reduce hazards?

At NDCISA, we have rules and regulations put into place in order to reduce hazards and help prevent accidents from happening in the first place. 

  • Turn off and lock all powered equipment. 
  • All employees must have a body harness with a life line.
  • An observer must be onsite. 
  • Proper and through training for all employees. 
  • Test air within storage bin 

Grain handling is an important and necessary job. With the right rules and regulations, it can make it a much safer occupation.