Hazards Identified and Corrected
The Grain and Feed Association of Illinois Partnership (Partnership) realized
several accomplishments since its start in March 2002, but the most notable was
the identification and correction of hazards at participating facilities. During
the summer of 2003, the Partnership held four separate outreach/training
sessions in Mt. Vernon, Springfield, Pontiac, and Mendota Illinois. The sessions
provided Grain and Feed Association of Illinois (GFAI) members with information
on effective safety and health management systems, fall protection, machine
guarding, confined space entry, hazard communication, personal protective
equipment, and warning signs. Following each session, members received tools to
help them identify hazards and report back on the number of specific hazards
identified and controlled.
As a result, the Partnership succeeded in eliminating 113 machine guard hazards
at participating facilities. These facilities installed 59 new machine guards
and made repairs to 54 existing guards during 2003. During the same period, 227
fall protection hazards were eliminated through the addition of handrails, fixed
ladders, and fall arrest equipment. One-hundred fifty-two confined space reviews
were performed, and 240 new chemical hazards were identified. Employers also
performed 38 personal protective equipment assessments, and 48 of the 119 sites
purchased new equipment. Similar training sessions were conducted during the
summer of 2004, and the Partnership expects to identify further hazard
reductions after the completion of surveys early in 2005.
The Partnership was formed as a means for OSHA to promote the value of safety
and health management systems for the GFAI's small employer members, many of
whom have less than ten employees. The Partnership encouraged the grain and feed
industry, which typically has a high rate of injuries, to use OSHA compliance
assistance resources. By reaching out to these smaller employers and providing
them with proactive information on addressing common hazards, OSHA helped to
eliminate hazards and prevent injuries.
Management Commitment and Employee Involvement Enhanced
Feedback from the training sessions also indicated that, in addition to taking
the specific steps noted above, GFAI members placed a greater emphasis on safety
and health in general at their facilities. Members reported that they held more
safety and health meetings and conducted safety inspections more frequently.
Employers also provided training on personal protective equipment, first aid,
and CPR. Other members reported that they were quicker to respond to safety
questions and concerns, and management has developed new or improved safety and
The Partnership between OSHA and GFAI encouraged the implementation of effective
safety and health management systems at grain handling facilities. These systems
included components, as described above, that address hazard prevention and
control and safety and health training for employees. The Partnership strove to
demonstrate the value of cooperative action and leveraging of industry resources
to eliminate hazards.
The Partnership identified specific goals for safety and health improvements
through voluntary measures. These included an increase in the number of machine
guarding hazards eliminated or controlled at member facilities; an increase in
the number of lockout inspections completed by member facilities; the
elimination or control of fall hazards at member facilities; an increase in the
development of action items for member safety and health management systems; and
an increase in the number of member facilities that develop effective safety and
health management systems.
To facilitate these improvements, OSHA and GFAI collaborated on a series of
outreach/training sessions that emphasized hazard awareness and OSHA
requirements and promoted the use of the Illinois Department of Commerce and
Economic Opportunity Onsite Safety and Health Consultation Program
(Consultation). GFAI encouraged its members to attend training sessions and work
with Consultation to eliminate specific hazards, then collected data on the
specific hazards eliminated.
Origin: Region 5; Illinois
Partners: The Grain and Feed Association of Illinois; the Illinois Offices of
Partnership Started: March 20, 2002
Industry: Grain handling (NAICS Code 493130, SIC Code 4221)
Employees: Approximately 6000
Source and Date: John Lee, Grain & Feed Association of Illinois (November 2004).