2022 US Dry Bean Convention

Come join us for the 2022 US Dry Bean Convention in Nashville, TN on July 30th to August 2nd. As Red Ribbon sponsors, we’ll have a booth available to showcase our most recent jobs, our design capabilities, top of the line processing equipment and much more.

 

US Dry Bean Convention

Omni Nashville Hotel

250 Rep John Lewis Way South

Nashville, TN 37203

Saturday, July 30th to Tuesday, August 2nd

 

Processing Equipment Specialists for Beans, Peas, Lentil, Seed and Grain

Processing Equipment Specialists for Beans, Peas, Lentil, Seed and Grain

2022 US Dray Bean Convention Red Ribbon Sponsors

2022 US Dray Bean Convention Red Ribbon Sponsors

 

 

 

2022 US Dry Bean Convention2022-07-21T09:53:55-07:00

Grain Bin Safety

Grain bins store dry grain such as corn, soybeans, wheat, and oats before processing. They are metal cylinder structures available at varying heights with peaked metal roofs and typically have staircases or ladders and walkways on the outside.

Sukup Grain StorageThe bins are easily recognizable in agricultural areas because of their silver exteriors made from vented corrugated steel and wide diameter.

The hazards posed by grain bins are serious for agricultural workers and can be deadly. Moving grain behaves like quicksand, quickly trapping workers and causing suffocation. Therefore, it is crucial for workers to understand how a grain bin functions and how grain ‘behaves’ to ensure safe operation.

 

Flowing Grain

Grain enters the bin through elevators and exits it through an opening at the center bottom, using gravity to push it out. The movement of grain during this process causes it to move quickly, pulling grain to the center and down. A worker can quickly become trapped if the grain begins to move while they are inside.

 

Crusting or Bridging of Grain

When grain is stored, it can form a crust or bridge on the surface, allowing invisible voids (open spaces) to form below. This top layer of crust can collapse when the grain below moves or is weighted on. If a worker walks across this crust, it will break and they will fall into the grain below, quickly becoming buried.

 

Grain Piles

Grain can build up on the sides of the grain bin when stored in poor conditions. These grain piles or masses can collapse when being broken up, causing a grain ‘avalanche’ without warning. If a worker is next to these vertical piles of grain as they collapse, they will be buried instantly.

 

Grain can engulf workers in seconds. Once a worker is knee-deep in grain, they will not be able to escape without assistance, the pressure on their legs will be severe and they will quickly become unable to move. Training, site signage, and a buddy system are paramount to ensure safety when operating around grain bins.

Safety Tips for Employers:

  1. Provide adequate training and testing to ensure the competency of all employees working with grain bins.
  2. Provide long poles for employees to break up crusted grain without entering the bin.
  3. Provide safety harnesses and ropes for all staff who may need to enter grain bins.
  4. Ensure adequate staffing levels to allow a buddy system for any employee entering a grain bin; one employee to stand watch while the other enters the bin.
  5. Air testing equipment should be available to test the grain bin air before entry.
  6. Install ladders inside grain bins for emergency exits should an employee need to escape quickly.

Safety Tips for Grain Bin Operators:

  1. Always turn off and lock out powered unloading equipment, augers, and fans before entering.
  2. Wear a body harness with a lifeline or a boatswain’s chair before entering a bin.
  3. Don’t walk on the grain in a bin to encourage it to flow.
  4. Ensure you have a buddy stationed outside the bin; this person should be trained to assist you if you need help.
  5. Do not enter a bin when bridging or grain build-up on the sides has occurred.
  6. Always stay near the outer wall and keep walking if the grain should start to flow. Get to the bin ladder or safety rope as quickly as possible.
  7. Test the air in the bin before entering to ensure sufficient oxygen and no combustible or toxic gases are present.
  8. When working in a grain bin wear a dust filter or filter respirator.

 

Workers should only be entering a grain bin when absolutely necessary and when other workers are available to assist. All employees working on-premises with grain bins should be trained on the hazards and the safety precautions needed to minimize risks. Additionally, signage at the facility should remind staff of the dangers and necessary safety precautions for grain bins.

Grain Bin Safety2022-04-18T13:46:03-07:00

Agricultural Facilities: Dust Safety

Silos, grain bins, and the processing of agricultural material, for example grain, produce dangerous airborne particles and dust. These dust particles create numerous hazards to your employees, products, and facility, including:

  • exposed employees can develop severe skin conditions or asthma related to dust exposure and inhalation,
  • quality control issues caused by cross-contamination of products due to dust,
  • damage to equipment requiring maintenance and downtime, and
  • explosions due to suspended dust clouds mixed with air and easily ignited by equipment.

Managing the risks created by dust particles starts with conducting a dust hazard analysis (DHA) that will identify the characteristics of dust within your facility and test the dust explosivity. In addition, a DHA is helpful for an owner to understand what type of dust mitigation practices are needed within their facility.

dust control

Dust Control
Housekeeping
OSHA’s Grain Handling Standards require every grain handling facility to have a written housekeeping program to help pinpoint and mitigate safety risks. The program must include directions on:

    • Inspection frequency
    • Cleaning frequency
    • Cleaning methods
    • Spills and leak management
    • Dust control equipment

Proper housekeeping practices ensure continuous measurement and trends of airborne particles and early identification of any changes. Regular interval inspections and cleaning will mitigate risks before dangerous dust levels are present.

Dust Control and Extraction Systems
As you explore solutions to capture and contain dust within your facility, knowing about the various system options is essential.

    1. Source capture
      Source capture systems usually are primary dust control systems. They use source capture arms, slotted dust hoods, or smaller slotted hoods with side shields placed over the work area producing the dust. These systems are the first defense against dust as they remove it ‘at the source’ of contamination.
    2. Enclosures
      Creating enclosed areas for the source capture systems with curtains or walls can further minimize dust contamination. However, these should not interfere with the workspace and encompass the entire process area that creates dust.
    3. Ambient ventilation
      Ambient systems are used as stand-alone or secondary solutions alongside source capture and enclosure systems.
      An ambient system is a centralized whole-facility solution that continually cleans and processes the air from the entire building. It can use one central air system with filters or multiple smaller collectors and is best suited to filter large entire work areas because they do not require hoods. Employees are still often required to wear personal protection equipment in ambient ventilation system environments because they do not remove particles from any breathing zones.

When looking for an equipment supplier for dust systems, it is paramount their service includes:

    • the knowledge and experience of your products and processing equipment,
    • knowledge about regulatory compliance for your facility,
    • a full range of equipment for your dust control needs,
    • testing services (in-house or with partners), and
    • training for your employees on equipment.

 

Beyond managing and avoiding risks, many agriculture processing operators are subject to regulatory compliance. These often vary by jurisdiction, and therefore it is essential to know which standards apply to your facility. The most common standards come from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), which requires DHA’s for all existing and new processing facilities (NFPA 652 came into effect on September 7, 2020). The NFPA standards are commonly enforced by OSHA (OSHA General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1)) and therefore are a good starting point to understand regulatory compliance.

A well-designed, maintained, and operated dust collection system is an integral part of your facilities operations, your workers’ health, and regulatory compliance.

– – – –

Additional resources:

The National Feed and Grain Association provides a sample Housekeeping Program free online (page 4).
Donaldson Torit: Combustible Dust Management
OSHA Bulletin: Combustible Dust in Industry: Preventing and Mitigating the Effects of Fire and Explosions
OSHA: Agricultural Operations Guidance
NFPA: Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust

Agricultural Facilities: Dust Safety2022-03-03T15:39:33-08:00
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