Region 7 News Release 10-1544-KAN
Nov. 8, 2010
Contact: Rich Kulczewski
US Department of Labor's OSHA launches emphasis program
to focus on grain handling industry in Kansas
WICHITA, Kan. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a local emphasis program in Kansas aimed at reducing injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the grain handling industry.
Under the program, OSHA's Wichita Area Office will target establishments such as grain elevators and storage bins, rail car, milling, fertilizer, feed, chemical and farm machinery operations; and equipment repair and maintenance.
"The hazards associated with grain handling operations are well recognized, and allowing workers to enter grain storage facilities without proper equipment, precautions and training can cost workers their lives," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "OSHA's Wichita Area Office will devote resources to outreach and enforcement activities in an effort to prevent workplace hazards and save lives."
Inspections will include hazard evaluations on grain handling including fall protection, engulfment and fire, explosions from combustible dust, noise, confined space and machine guarding.
In August, OSHA sent a letter to grain elevator operators advising them that it is their responsibility to prevent workers from dying in grain storage facilities. All employers, and especially those in high-hazard industries such as the grain industry, must recognize as well as prevent workplace hazards. The letter is available at: http://www.osha.gov/asst-sec/Grain_letter.html. For more information on the grain handling facilities standard, go to: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9875.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards should call OSHA's Wichita Area Office at 316-269-6644 or the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthy workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit http://www.dol.gov/compliance.