Be safe while preparing silos and bins for harvest
We all know that farming is potentially a very dangerous occupation if precautions and safety are not top-of-mind in everything we do. We may, or can easily take for granted every action we perform every day, working at the things we love. Harvest is an exciting time for everyone, but please, take the time to plan every step of the way and come home safe to your loved ones.
Organize a sit-down with employees to identify roles and responsibilities during the task and identify:
- Equipment to be locked out.
- Forms of communication.
- Equipment needed for the work.
- Emergency action plan.
Appoint an Entry Supervisor
The Entry Supervisor leads the process for the entire duration of the entry.
- Inspects the space to be entered; looks for bridged grain, grain beyond the natural angle of repose, hung up grain and anything else that may pose a physical threat to an entrant.
- Ensures that the air monitor is calibrated and bump tested, and that the space is safe for human occupancy.
- Leads the bin entry team through a lockout/tagout and verification process for all equipment that poses a risk of entanglement or engulfment to the entrant.
- Follow compliance criteria in the permit process and issues it to the approving authority.
The Attendant stays in direct communication with the entrant(s) and has access to additional assistance through the entire duration of the entry.
- Monitors the space and outside factors for any changes that could pose a hazard to the entrant and terminates the entry if unexpected hazards or abnormal conditions arise.
- Controls entry into the space to authorize entrants only.
- Stays in direct communication with the entrant, if possible in eye site.
The Entrant works inside the space and communicates with the attendant.
- Conducts the work needed inside the space.
- Communicates with the attendant as often as necessary.
- Wears appropriate harness and lifeline when entering bins containing grain or other commodities.
- Maintains control and use of air monitor and other tools.
- Stays alert for changing conditions inside the space that could pose a hazard and immediately exits the space if necessary.
Key requirements are:
- Every effort should be taken to avoid entry, if possible.
- Turn off and lock out all potentially hazardous energy sources.
- Never walk on or walk “down” grain to make it flow.
- Never enter on or below bridged grain or hung up grain.
- Test the bin’s atmosphere before entry.
- The attendant must remain by the entrance during the entry process.
- Ensure that rescue equipment is serviceable and available.
- Follow the permit and all other safety precautions.