OSHA interpretation addresses grain augers

Washington – OSHA recently published a letter of interpretation in response to concerns from a member of Congress about the agency’s actions on grain augers.

The letter, dated Feb. 16 and signed by OSHA administrator David Michaels, addresses issues raised by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD). According to Noem, a 2009 OSHA letter of interpretation told employees not to work inside a grain bin while an unguarded sweep auger was operating but failed to offer alternatives for removal and to define the term “unguarded sweep auger.” She asked the agency to provide an update on its actions and seek input from industry.

In his response, Michaels outlined OSHA’s actions on the issue and recounted meeting with industry stakeholders on several occasions.

OSHA addressed a similar issue in a May 2011 letter to Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-IA).

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