GEAPS Collaborates on NGFA/OSHA Alliance
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) announced the formation of an alliance in September. The pact will allow grain handling, feed manufacturing and processing industries to work more closely and collaboratively with the regulatory agency regarding the shared interest of increasing safety and health awareness and education of our industry operations management and workforce.
As part of that agreement GEAPS was invited to collaborate, and after considering a presentation from Jess McCluer, NGFA vice president for safety and regulatory affairs, the Board fully endorsed participation.
The focus of the Alliance is to provide education and compliance assistance, and to maximize worker safety and health protection. OSHA will provide information, guidance and resources to help protect the safety of grain operations workers.
The Alliance allows OSHA to share resources regarding the safety and health hazards associated with grain bin entry, machine guarding, respiratory protection, falls, heat, combustible dust, struck-by and lockout/tagout; topics identified by the Alliance a priorities. This information can be shared in a number of ways, including providing subject matter experts to speak or exhibit at GEAPS’ conferences and chapter meetings.
The Alliance can impact GEAPS members in several ways. First, NGFA and OSHA will provide a free webinar Jan. 17, at 2 p.m. Central. The presentation, “How Grain Quality and Safety Intersect” will focus on preventing engulfment. GEAPS chapters will also be asked to consider holding an educational event during “National Grain Entrapment Prevention Week,” scheduled for April 9-13, 2018.
Through the Alliance GEAPS is working with NGFA and OSHA on ways to provide program speakers for chapter meetings on specific safety topics, including grain
entrapment prevention as the immediate focus. With the current two-year agreement future focus-topics are expected to include grain dust fire and explosion prevention, electrical equipment safety and other topics.