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GEAPS 540: Entry Level Safety

Next course offering: Sept. 14-Oct. 16
Registration is now closed.

Course Goals: GEAPS 540 will provide an orientation and basic-level information about how to stay safe and healthy while working at grain or processing facilities. The course will identify the main risks, discuss essential precautions, emphasize the need to learn and follow company and facility safety-and-health policies and point out the importance of personal accountability.

Target Audience: This course is for new employees or those with limited experience who work in grain and grain processing facilities, or for grain and processing industry workers with minimal safety training. It also will serve as a basic-level refresher course for more experienced employees.


Mark Daniels, director of health and safety, CHS Inc. | Show Bio

Kevin Danner, corporate EHS manager, West Central

Brandon Dills, safety and compliance officer, Co-Mark Inc. | Show Bio

Julie Waltz, safety/regulatory consultant, RCI Safety | Show Bio

Derek Farmer, safety lead consultant, Olsson Associates

Mary Carper, corporate safety manager, Zeeland Farm Services Inc.

The Course of Study

Week 1
Lecture 1 – What are the Hazards? What are the Rules?
This introductory lecture will outline the main hazards at grain and grain processing facilities and discuss some general guidelines and regulations for staying healthy and safe — and keeping your job. It will also point out that safety rules vary at each company or facility, and emphasize the need to know what the rules are where you work.
Lecturer: Mark Daniels

Lecture 2 – Personal Safety: The Fundamentals
Learning the hazards and understanding a company’s safety rules is essential, but employees working in grain and grain processing facilities need to take some responsibility for their own well-being, too. Using common sense, knowledge and eyes and ears are crucial parts of the job. What is behavioral safety and how does it affect you?
Lecturer: Mark Daniels

Week 2
Lecture 3 – An Impossible Task? Measuring the Value of Safety
What is it worth to stay safe? If you factor in human life and personal well-being, there is no good answer. However, it’s important at least to consider the question, because the financial implications are huge. This lecture will examine the value of working safely, and how much accidents and injuries can cost employers and employees.
Lecturer: Kevin Danner

Lecture 4 – Lockout/Tagout
This lecture will discuss what lockout and tagout mean, how they differ, and how important they are to on-the-job safety for individuals and co-workers. It will point out the various equipment and situations where lockout/tagout applies, using specific examples. Electrical equipment, legs, conveying equipment and group lockouts or use of equipment that can be started at multiple locations will be discussed. The lecture will also address lockout/tagout procedures and certification.
Lecturer: Julie Waltz

Week 3
Lecture 5 – Confined-Space Entry, Safe Bin Entry and the Hazards of Engulfment
This three-part lecture will explore what “confined space” means, how to safely enter grain bins and types of engulfment. Session discussion topics will include when it is safe (and not safe) to enter a confined space, what to do and be aware of before entering and confined space hazards. The lecture will also cover the potential hazards of entering a grain bin, including engulfment and the checklists to perform before entering. Finally, participants will learn about conditions under which engulfment sometimes occurs, behaviors that can lead to an engulfment and what can help in a rescue situation.
Lecturer: Julie Waltz

Lecture 6 – Don’t Fall!
People working in grain facilities can get seriously hurt or even die by tripping and falling. But the risks are minimized if you stay alert, recognize potential hazards, use common sense, follow rules, take all precautions and use the proper equipment. This lecture will discuss the hazards of walking and working surfaces, as well as working from elevated places, including roofs, beams, railcars, barges and ladders. It will also cover the use of fall-arrest systems, work-positioning and anchorage points for tie-off.
Lecturer: Derek Farmer

Week 4
Lecture 7 –
Dust Explosions and Hazard Monitoring Systems
Grain dust explosions can be catastrophic and deadly. This two-part lecture will discuss the potential severity of explosions, the conditions that cause them and how employees can help control the conditions before a disaster occurs. Hazard-monitoring systems will also be explored. What are they, what do they do, and what do employees need to know about them?
Lecturer: Derek Farmer

Lecture 8 – Electrical Safety, Chemical Safety
Lecture 8 will identify the main electrical hazards of working in a grain or processing facility, and how the hazards can be avoided. It will discuss arc flash, pointing out its dangers and how to make sure it does not occur. The lecture will also provide basic information about the main types of chemicals allowed at facilities, how to avoid exposure and what Personal Protective Equipment (or PPE) is and how people may need training to use it.
Lecturer: Mary Carper

Week 5
Lecture 9 – Mobile-Equipment Safety
This lecture will discuss how to work safely with and around mobile equipment, including bobcats, pay-loaders and forklifts. It will also cover the hazards of working with hoisted loads and lifting equipment.
Lecturer: Kevin Danner

Lecture 10 – Rail, Barge and Waterfront Safety
Grain facilities are often linked closely to railroads and waterways, calling for specialized training, care and vigilance. This lecture will discuss main ways to avoid hazards and stay safe while working with railcars, barges and ships.
Lecturer: Brandon Dills