OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
Wednesday, July 1, 1998
Contact: Jeff Ezell (202) 219-8151
OSHA, USDA SIGN AGREEMENT PROMISING FUTURE COOPERATION
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) agreed June 21 to share information associated with grain dust accumulation in warehouses that presents a hazard to employees.
"This memorandum of understanding between OSHA and FSA is vital if we are to promote safety in grain warehouses," said Charles N. Jeffress, OSHA administrator.
The agreement results from discussion between the two agencies on the need to more closely coordinate each other's activities. Besides the hazards of fire and explosion, excessive grain dust jeopardizes the quality of the stored product. FSA personnel routinely examine grain storage facilities for these conditions, noting any problems in reports to their supervisors and warehouse operators.
Under the terms of the agreement, FSA supervisors now will immediately notify OSHA regional administrators of their notations regarding dust accumulation. Then, OSHA will take action to determine if the dust levels are excessive and potentially dangerous.
Jeffress also noted that FSA examiners will not serve as OSHA inspectors. "OSHA still remains the agency responsible for protecting the health and safety of grain industry workers," he said.
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