OSHA issues warning on grain engulfment dangers

August 24, 2011

Washington – OSHA released a hazard alert Aug. 17 explaining the dangers of working in grain storage bins.

The alert warns that workers inside grain storage bins can be exposed to hazards such as engulfments and entrapments, fires and explosions, falls, crushing injuries, and amputations.

The agency also unveiled a wallet card (.pdf file) that summarizes the alert and offers advice to employers on how to keep workers safe from the hazards. The card includes illustrations depicting how a grain engulfment can occur.

Grain engulfments are a growing concern for OSHA. The agency cited a Purdue University report (.pdf file) showing that in 2010, at least 51 grain entrapments occurred – the most on record – and 26 people died.