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Safety week raises awareness

(Posted on 14/04/20)

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) in the USA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are hosting a major safety outreach effort – the “Stand Up for Grain Safety Week” – from April 13-17, 2020, to help raise awareness about grain handling and storage hazards and ways to prevent them, provide education and training, and convey safety best practices.

NGFA consists of more than 1,000 grain, feed, processing, exporting and other grain-related companies that operate more than 7,000 facilities and handle more than 70 percent of all U.S. grains and oilseeds.

Throughout the Stand Up for Grain Safety Week, companies may participate by providing a focused activity and/or toolbox talk for employees on any hazard-prevention measure. Featured topics that NGFA and its safety partners — the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) and the Grain Handling Safety Council (GHSC) — will highlight throughout the week include: Preventive maintenance; machine/conveyor guarding; grain bin entry; and slips, trips and falls.

This year’s event also will be supplemented with safety-related information to protect employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a new NGFA Safety Tip Sheet and other resources that can be found on ngfa.org/covid-19.

“As the food and agricultural industry continues to work to provide essential human and animal food during the pandemic — during which grain, feed and processing facility employees have been deemed part of the nation’s ‘critical essential infrastructure’ — it may be more important than ever to bring awareness and practicability to best safety practices for grain handlers to maintain and protect our robust workforce,” said NGFA Vice President of Safety and Regulatory Affairs Jess McCluer. “We encourage all companies to participate in this effort and show their continued commitment to the health and safety of their employees.”

Participating companies are encouraged to fill out information about their safety activities on standup4grainsafety.org, which provides training materials and a certificate of participation. Participants can share safety success stories on social media with the hashtag: #StandUp4GrainSafety.

The campaign is hosted under the auspices of the NGFA-OSHA Alliance in collaboration with the GEAPS and GHSC.

The NGFA has several resources, including Safety Tip Sheets, guidance documents and training videos, for companies wishing to become involved in the campaign on ngfa.org/safety.

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