Grain Bin Safety Week starts Feb. 18, and it marks an opportunity for those working in the agriculture industry to renew a commitment to a culture of safety. 

There are several potential deadly hazards in grain storage and handling operations which is why the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) invites you to use this dedicated week to conduct thorough safety reviews, organize training sessions for your team, and engage in community initiatives to raise awareness about the importance of grain bin safety. If you’d like, you can also schedule a free safety consultation by calling 1-800-644-6292 or submitting a request online.

Most grain bin fatalities occur when employees enter the bin, become engulfed in the grain, and suffocate. But fatalities may also be caused by exposure to hazardous atmospheres, combustible dust explosions, entanglement in augers and other moving equipment, and falling from elevations. Take some time to review these grain storage and handling tips to ensure your team is up-to-date on the latest safety precautions and procedures.

Avoid engulfment hazards

Remember, workers should never enter grain bins and stand or walk on the grain to help it flow down into the auger or conveyor system. Engulfment can easily occur when a worker stands or walks on grain that has bridged or caked and suddenly begins to flow. These additional safety precautions will help prevent accident or injury:

  • Conduct a job safety analysis to identify specific hazards and develop an emergency preparedness plan.
  • Prohibit workers from entering bins during grain loading or unloading.
  • Prohibit walking down grain and similar practices requiring workers to enter a bin and stand or walk on grain to make it flow.
  • Provide a mechanical raking device or power sweep equipment to ensure grain movement within the bins.
  • Provide equipment that workers can use to break up surface crusts or clumps from outside the bin.
  • Treat grain bins as confined spaces and post confined space warning signs at all entrances to bins.
  • Require the use of a body harness and lifeline or boatswain’s chair when a worker must enter a grain bin.
  • Position a lifeline to prevent a worker from sinking further than waist-deep in grain.
Eliminate environmental hazards

Adequate ventilation is crucial to prevent the buildup of harmful gasses such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide within the grain bins. Implementing ventilation systems and monitoring air quality can safeguard both your grain and the well-being of your staff. In addition, combustible dust, mechanical equipment and fall hazards can be heightened in this environment. Consult this fact sheet for a list of ways to stay protected.

Plus, you can protect your team and gain confidence in your safety procedures when you schedule a free safety consultation by calling 1-800-644-6292 or submitting a request online

Want more safety resources? Join BWC at the 2024 Ohio Safety Congress & Expo® (OSC24®) at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, March 27-29, 2024. This popular event will offer educational sessions and continuing education on a variety of topics, including business strategies, manufacturing safety, safety management systems, technology and innovations, and much more.  

Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation

Established in 1912, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is the exclusive provider of workers’ compensation insurance in Ohio, serving 249,000 public and private employers. With nearly 1,600 employees and assets of approximately $25 billion, BWC is one of the largest state-run insurance systems in the United States. For more, visit

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