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Update on New Effort by OSHA to Inspect Grain Facilities
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 08/26/2010

The Wisconsin Agri-Service Association is notifying its members about new developments in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's new efforts to crack down on safety violations for grain handling facilities in Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio. In the group's August newsletter, WASA informed its membership of OSHA's new Local Emphasis Program for grain companies, in which the agency will randomly select a cycle of 10 facilities at a time within each of the four Wisconsin area districts to inspect them for major hazard areas.

It was thought at that time that the LEP excluded facilities with fewer than 10 employees from the rounds of inspections. But WASA has since learned that OSHA will also be including companies of that size.

"We are uncertain as to the reason for the change, but that is largely irrelevant to the issue of this large expansion of the number of facilities that will be eligible for possible OSHA inspections under this program," said WASA Director John Petty, who's group is mainly made up of grain elevators, feed mills, ingredient manufacturers and suppliers.

As Wisconsin Ag Connecton reported last week, the Local Emphasis Program will focus on feed mills, ethanol plants, pet food manufacturers, and grain elevators and warehouses through September 2011. OSHA will be looking for hazard areas such as engulfment, falls, auger entanglement, combustible dust explosions and electrocution. They also intend to expand on partial inspections if other serious hazards are observed at a particular location.

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