The Knowledge Resource for the World of Grain Handling and Processing Industry Operations

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Knowledge Resource Center

Search summaries of educational sessions from GEAPS Exchange events. Members who couldn’t attend our annual event or are interested in specific topics will find these summaries very helpful.

Importance of Risk Management to the Grain Elevator and Their Customers

Jake Moline
Richard Jelinek

Price risk management impacts both your bottom line and that of your customers. This presentation covers the highlight markets that are available to elevators and some common applications to protect your bottom line and enhance your grain origination.

How Tired is Too Tired? How Fatigue is Impacting Your Business

Emily Whitcomb
Senior Program Manager, National Safety Council

Fatigue is a factor in workplace productivity and increases the risk of employee incidents and injuries. One study found that 13% of workplace injuries were attributed to employees with sleep problems. Nearly every American worker reports at least one risk factor for fatigue, and almost half admit to being sleep deprived. Sleep deficiency and disorders cost a typical medium-sized employer $1 million a year in lost productivity, missed work days, and health care costs. Identify causes of workplace fatigue, and implement best practices to reduce risk and decrease the financial burden of sleep-deprived employees.

Understanding and Preventing Severe Injuries and Fatalities (SIF)

Tim Boyer
CIO, DEKRA/RCI

Despite declining injury rates, severe incidents and workplace fatalities (SIF) are on the rise. Understand ways to identify the precursors to SIF incidents, and discuss potential SIF incidents in the grain industry. Look at data using predictive analytics to expose where a company may have the most exposure to SIFs. This session was a “must attend” for anyone working with safety, risk assessment, or injury prevention.

Everything You Need to Know about Controlling Hazardous Energy: OSHA 1910.147

Joe Mlynek
Safety Consultant, Progressive Safety Services LLC

Do you have an effective energy control program? This session covered common energy sources found in grain handling facilities and the causes of lockout tagout-related injuries and fatalities. Learn about situations where lockout tagout applies and misconceptions associated with this standard. In addition, the discussion will help you create an effective energy control program that includes equipment-specific procedures, training, and periodic inspections.

Webinar: Why are They Still Entering Grain Bins?

Dr. Carol Jones
faculty, Oklahoma State University

Each year, grain bin facilities occur throughout the nation. No matter how well you are prepared, entering a grain bin is a risk. This webinar reviews: Processes and procedures to prevent the need to enter grain bins. New technology, equipment and trends. Procedures and standard safety equipment when bin entry is necessary. Download Presentation Slides […]

Webinar: Deadline 2022: New Dust Hazard Analysis in NFPA 61 and NFPA 652

Matthew Bujewski
president, MJB Risk Consulting, Inc.

This free webinar will primarily focus on the methodology of the dust hazard analysis and the checklist provided in annex material of NFPA 61.

New Research on Safety Culture for Agribusiness Retailers

Dr. Erik Hanson
assistant professor, North Dakota State University

Dr. Hanson provides a summary of current occupational safety academic literature based on his recent research pertaining to safety for agribusiness retailers.

When Rescue Personnel Arrive…What Now?

Jeffrey Decker
president/owner, Decker Consulting & Investigations Inc

An accident has occurred and rescue personnel have arrived at your facility; now what? Learn the importance of creating an Emergency Action Plan and how to develop it in collaboration with local fire and police departments.

Valuation for Mergers and Acquisitions – And More!

Jeffrey Berg, ARA, ASA, FRICS
president, Crown Appraisals Inc

With today’s ever-changing economy and market fluctuations, the grain industry is consistently experiencing acquisitions and mergers. Increase your knowledge of the industry’s rapidly changing agribusiness environment and learn how to utilize valuation as a property and casualty risk management tool.

Deciphering the Intricacies and Magnitude of Information Technology Security

Douglas Clingman
general manager, Ag Solutions IT LLC

In today’s connected world, everyone should consider themselves IT professionals and should actively look to increase their knowledge or risk becoming a conduit for an attack.

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 […]

Preventing Loss with Construction Quality Control Plans

Ryan Michalek
PE, LEED AP, risk management property engineer, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company

It is surprising how often new construction grain bins show up in property claims loss data. Find out how to use Construction Quality Control Plans to prevent risk, mitigate potential loss and improve the quality of your next project.

Creating and Maintaining Your Safety Culture

Marc McClure
corporate safety director, IES Commercial & Industrial Division

Every company has a safety culture, but is it strong, healthy and maintainable? This guide will help you create a healthy safety culture, examine factors of influence in the workplace and explain what is necessary to maintain a safe environment.

Crisis Communication: Owning It!

Lani Jordan
former director, corporate communications, CHS Inc

Relaying information that protects your operation during a crisis is vital, but the process can be daunting. Preparation can significantly reduce the duration of an event and damage to your reputation. Learn lessons and techniques with this summary.

Update on Key Issues Facing the Grain, Feed and Processing Industry in 2017

Jess McCluer
vice president of safety and regulatory affairs, National Grain and Feed Association

This update covers emerging regulatory issues within the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency. Learn more about OSHA and the Trump administration as it relates safety and regulatory affairs amid many topics.

Training the Trainer: Learning How to Communicate, Educate and Coordinate with Local Emergency Responders

Jason Holland
faculty fire science instructor and retired division chief of training, Hutchinson Community College

Do you know who can protect and save you at your facility? Get a more proactive approach in learning how to communicate, educate and coordinate with local responders during emergencies that might happen at your facility.

What are the Major Causes of Grain Bin Entrapments?

Jack Volz
loss control, Parthenon Agency LLC

What are the major causes of grain bin entrapments? Understanding how an entrapment occurs is critical for us to protect ourselves as rescuers and create the best outcome for the entrapped. This summary lists entrapment causes and actions.

NFPA 652 and 61 – Changes that Impact the Grain, Feed and Processing Industry

Craig Froehling
global engineering lead - grain division, Cargill

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 652, Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust, was revised in 2016. NFPA 61 will issue a revision during 2017 that includes major changes. Learn about how each update could affect your operation.

Dust in the Wind: Medical Implications of Inhalants in the Grain Industry

Clayton Cowl
MD, chair, preventive, occupational and aerospace medicine, division pulmonary and critical care medicine, Mayo Clinic

There are many short- and long-term medical implications from inhaling dust and other particles. This summary covers causes, treatments and prevention for conditions experienced by grain operation personnel.

Stairs, Ladders, Gates and Guardrails: Best Practices for Safe Access

Julie Waltz
safety consultant, RCI Safety

Slips and falls from stairs and ladders can result in serious and even fatal injuries. Review OSHA compliance data, building codes and life safety codes that could help reduce accidents at your facility. Remember to think about your safety habits and those of the people around you.

How Different Electrical Codes Apply in Grain Elevators

Steve Reed
vice president engineering and safety, KASA Controls & Automation

While every grain elevator is different, various electrical codes apply to each facility. If you are not sure which codes may apply to your location or how to implement them, this summary will help you. Learn code details and guidance on how to apply them.

Dust Explosion Hazards and Practical Measures for their Control

Vahid Ebadat
CEO, Chilworth Technology Inc

The majority of powders in the food industry can form explosive dust clouds. This summary features the conditions that lead to explosions (combustible dust, ignition source, etc.), steps for controlling those conditions and tests that can help assess your facility’s risk.

Top Regulatory Issues Facing the Grain, Feed and Processing Industry in 2015

Jess McCluer
director of safety and regulatory affairs, National Grain and Feed Association

The grain industry continues to operate within the framework of regulations. It’s critical to understand how additional OSHA enforcement, rulemaking for combustible dust, the Globally Harmonized Standard (GHS) for Labelling and other changes affect your operation.

Best Lessons from OSHA Inspections and Enforcement Initiatives

Tressi Cordaro
shareholder, Jackson Lewis PC

Speaker: Tressi Cordaro, shareholder, Jackson Lewis PC

During 2016, the cost of OSHA civil penalties went up for the first time since 1990. This informative summary covers how much those penalties went up, OSHA’s new reporting requirements for work-related fatalities and injuries and the temporary worker initiative.

Grain Dust Explosions

Dr. Kingsly Ambrose
assistant professor Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University

This summary focuses on grain dust explosions, which are considered severe hazards with the potential to cause loss of life and property damage. Understand this year-round hazard, types of ignition sources and various approaches to help prevent these dangerous situations.

Pressure on the Torso During Grain Entrapment and Possible Physiological Impact

Kevin Moore
research engineer and Ph.D. student in biosystems and agricultural engineering, Oklahoma State University

Can the pressure on an entrapped worker’s torso be enough to limit breathing? This resource covers testing in a simulated situation and the revealing results. What equipment was identified that could greatly improve a recovery? Find out in this summary.

Overcoming Challenges for an Improved Safety Culture

Brock Casteel
network operations manager, Tate&Lyle Grain

Safety doesn’t happen by accident; it requires attention, planning and resources. Knowing your team, conducting analyses and gaining management commitment are essential for safety. Learn ideas , best practices, implementation challenges and solutions.

Best in Class: How to Conduct a Thorough Safety Assessment

Donald Groover
senior vice president, BST

What is your organization’s safety strategy? Your plan should achieve a specific set of safety targets and the organization’s vision. Be confident with your strategy by creating a plan. From the first steps to a critical inquiry, this summary covers the basics of a safety plan.

Grain Bin Entry and Permit Required Confined Space Rescue

Jeff Decker
owner, Decker Consulting & Investigations Inc

Speaker: Jeff Decker, owner, Decker Consulting & Investigations Inc.

The goal is this: train, equip and execute so at the end of each day we all go home safe. Learn the difference between “confined spaces” and “permit-required confined spaces,” various hazards, prevention, procedures and how to be safe during your work day.

Planning For Disasters and Business Continuity

Mark Aljets
attorney, Nyemaster Goode PC

Failing to plan is planning to fail. Preparing for a catastrophic event starts with addressing how to react and continues with developing a plan to reduce business interruption. This resource helps you create a plan, designate coordinators and form a business recovery team.

Enter at Your Owner’s Risk

Jeff Decker
The GSI Group LLC

This session discusses the pitfalls of operating sweep augers and the solutions that our industry has to offer. It looks at the options of adding vehicle traffic doors, how to redesign your new or current tank to install entry doors and how to safely utilize automated augers — all in the interest of keeping employees from having to enter bins while equipment is operating.

Do-It-Yourself Disaster Planning (1)

Don Jones
president, Houston Grain Trading Inc

What do you do in case of fire, tornado, flood or bin collapse? This session covers the post-disaster process of safely and efficiently salvaging grain from the disaster area.

Know Your Rights: Preparing for an OSHA Inspection

Kip Reiher
consultant, Safety Services of Northwest Ohio LLC

OSHA has legal obligations, but your company has rights, and it’s useful to know what they are in detail before the feds come knocking at the door. This session features the accumulated wisdom of former OSHA inspector Kip Reiher, who spent years in the field. With an insider’s perspective, Reiher discusses the OSHA processes, offers real-world examples about the perils of uncontrolled inspections, and provides advice about how they can be mitigated. When it is OK to say no?

Current Issues on Food Defense

Richard Ryan 2
assistant deputy director, asset protection division, corporate security department, Archer Daniels Midland Company

Food defense remains one of the most complex issues facing all segments of the food and feed industries. This session provides an overview of current efforts to characterize and mitigate food defense-related risks. Food defense will be regulated through the Food Safety Modernization Act. Potential industry impacts resulting from the regulation will be discussed, as well as the importance of maintaining a good-faith partnership towards substantive food defense.

Arc Flash: Personal Hazards and Employer Responsibilities

Joseph Weigel
owner, Electrical Safety Works

This session presents an overview of the NFPA standard for electrical safety in the workplace. It discusses types of major electrical faults that can occur in electrical equipment, with a focus on arcing faults as particularly damaging and dangerous. Statistical occurrences of arc flash accidents that cause significant injuries and fatalities are discussed in both human and financial terms. The presentation also covers all aspects of facility and employer responsibilities for compliance to the NFPA electrical safety standards and OSHA enforcement.

Do-It-Yourself Distaster Plainning (2)

Mark Whalen
AIC, field consultant, commercial property, Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Co

What do you do in case of fire, tornado, flood or bin collapse? This session covers pre-disaster planning for business continuity–a route to reducing monetary loss.

Transportation Worker Identification Credential Program

Kevin Gilheany
Maritime Compliance International LLC

The Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard are implementing a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program which will have a significant impact on many waterfront facilities and vessels. There are things that can be done to minimize the impact of the TWIC regulations that operators should be aware of. This session enables company personnel to develop a comprehensive plan to implement TWIC requirements at their facilities and on board their vessels.

Rail Safety: Any Time Is Train Time

Chad Korth
Nebraska Central Railroad

This session discusses Operation Lifesaver, a comprehensive nationwide rail-safety initiative dedicated to ending collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway crossings and on railroad rights of way. With a focus on safety at grain facilities, it also discusses job briefings, communication, switch positions, derailment, and rail and railcar inspections.

Electrical Safety and NFPA 70E: Your Electrical Safety Questions Answered

David Nicewicz
ADM Grain

Grain industry safety specialist Dave Nicewicz discusses electrical safety. Several years ago, OSHA asked NFPA, the National Fire Protection Association, to bring in industry experts to define the latest, most current safety precautions for electrical work. Those requirements were issued in a document called NFPA 70E as a supplement to the National Electric Code (NFPA 70) and have been updated regularly. Since 2000, clothing requirements for electrical work have been specified, which was a very big change. This presentation will help facility owners and operators explore the safety issues that are detailed in 70E. Dave will answer common questions concerning 70E and provide suggestions how each attendee can learn more about implementing these safety requirements at their facility to protect workers and satisfy OSHA requirements.

OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs

Doug Fletcher
U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA

Is your company aware of OSHA?s Voluntary Protection Program? It should be, because successful participants in the program not only tend to have better safety records, but can also be removed from OSHA?s routine inspection lists. VPP is designed to recognize and promote safety and health management collaboratively, in a partnership between business and government. This session provides details, and information about how your company can get involved in the program.

Non-Confined Space Engulfment Risks

Tom Zemanick
Cargill

This session focuses on non-confined space storage areas at grain elevators that can pose engulfment risks. This means grain and fertilizer storage areas that have engulfment risks that are not considered confined spaces by OSHA. The session will make clear what the requirements are for those spaces and that employees know how to take precautions and become aware of the hazards while working in these areas.