Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at

February 24, 1982

Mr. Terry Foppe
Safety Services Manager
Mail #402
Adolph Coors Company
Golden, Colorado 80401

Dear Mr. Foppe:

Thank you for your letter of January 5, 1982, requesting an interpretation of OSHA Instruction CPL 2-1.4, Information on Grain Elevator Inspections. Your letter, addressed to Mr. Thomas Seymour, was forwarded to this office for reply.

The OSHA Instruction CPL 2-1.4 was preceded by the OSHA Grain Elevator Industry Hazard Alert, January 5, 1978 (copy enclosed). The Hazard Alert will be referred to in answering your questions. The following answers are numbered the same as your questions.

1. The facilities included in the definition of "Grain Elevators" are indicated in the NFPA 61B-1980 standard, paragraphs 1-1.1* and A-1.1: viz., 1-1.1* This standard shall apply to all facilities designed for receiving, shipping, handling, and storing of bulk raw agricultural commodities. A-1-1 Such facilities include grain elevators, transfer facilities with or without storage capability, bulk storage buildings, and grain storage and handling facilities not involving further processing of agricultural commodities.

Those grain handling facilities which have bucket elevators and other similar equipment found typically in a grain elevator are covered by the OSHA instruction. Where such facilities have other operations as well, such as milling operations, these operations are not covered by the instruction.
The milling operation, covered by NFPA 61D, is not covered by OSHA Instruction CPL 2-1.4, whose title refers only to grain elevator inspections. This is further confirmed in our Hazard Alert. Appendix II, paragraph A.(1)(c), which directs the inspection team or the assigned compliance officer to utilize NFPA 61B.
2. The method that you propose is an indirect one to sense leg belt slowdown by detecting a choke, which is only one cause of belt slowdown. It would not satisfy the requirement intended to detect all leg belt slowdowns from whatever cause such as where the belt begins to slip on the head pulley.

3. The answer is "yes" for employee safety consideration if they are located away from typical work situations or employee frequented areas.

4. The answer is "no". The requirement is directed to grain receiving areas before the bucket elevator - not processing machinery such as the scalperator. NFPA 61B-1980 states the following in paragraphs 5-2.2* and A-5-2.2:
5-2.2* Grain receiving facilities shall be equipped with one or more devices such as grating, wire mesh screens, permanent magnets, approved electromagnets, pneumatic separators, or specific gravity separators.

A-5-2.2 Such devices should be installed on hoppers, conveyors or spouts handling grain from truck dump pits, rail car dump pits, and barge or ship unloading systems prior to entry of the grain into subsequent conveyors, elevators, or processing machinery to minimize the entry of tramp metal and other foreign objects.

Furthermore, the Grain Elevator Industry Hazard Alert, page 5, emphasizes that it is generally believed that the bucket elevator is the location in the grain elevator complex in which fires most frequently occur, with one ignition source being tramp metal.

In closing, it is important that you be aware of the following items that may impact your questions and our answers:

1. OSHA may amend CPL 2-1.4 in the near future, and

2. OSHA intends to promulgate a grain elevator standard.

Should you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to call or write.


John K. Barto
Division of Occupational Safety Programming