After yesterday’s confined spaces refresher for Canada’s Ag Safety Week, today we wanted to emphasize grain bin safety! 🌾
All grain bins are considered confined spaces. Grain bin hazards include the risk of entrapment, moving parts, and poor air quality. Additionally, bin sweeps, augers, and aeration systems are considered entanglement hazards.
Moving grain within a bin acts like quicksand ⏳ and can bury a worker in seconds. The behaviour and weight of grain makes it extremely difficult for a worker to get out of it without assistance. Grain can collapse and cause an avalanche under a worker’s weight. Grain bins can develop a hazardous atmosphere or lack of oxygen.
Always follow all on-farm safety procedures when working in grain bins and confined spaces. Some things you can do to ensure you are safe when working within a grain bin include:
- ✔ Use a rod or vibration system to break up clumped grain from a safe location outside of the bin before working inside. Never walk on the grain to make it flow.
- ✔ Always equip workers with a body harness that has an attached lifeline and other rescue equipment (like a winch system) along with the training to ensure the equipment is used properly and protocol is followed.
- ✔ Before entry, test the bin’s air quality for combustible and toxic gasses and to determine if there is sufficient oxygen.
- ✔ Disconnect, lockout and tagout machinery, and block-off all powered equipment before entering the bin.
- ✔ Do not enter onto or below bridged grain or when grain is built up on the sides.
- ✔ Never empty or move grain into or out of the bin while workers are inside. This will create suction that will pull them into the grain.
- ✔ Do not enter a grain bin unless you have a plan.
- ✔ Make sure children know the grain bin is off-limits.