Keep employees safe during the busy harvest season.

During the busy harvest season, grain-handling facilities are one of the most dangerous places to work. Fires and explosions from grain dust accumulation, entrapment and suffocation from bin entry, and crushing injuries from grain truck and railroad traffic are just some of the hazards.

Everyone is in hurry and working long hours. Tasks can become mundane and employees often become complacent towards safety.

To help keep employees safe and your business running smoothly, hold weekly safety meetings, conduct walk-throughs of your facility to ensure all safety elements are in place and in good working order and enforce personnel disciplinary rules for safety violations.


  • Make sure your employees are properly trained and know all the safety rules of your location.
  • Conduct morning safety meetings to keep employees updated on what’s going on and to stress the importance of staying safe during busy times.
  • Talk with employees, especially drivers, about roadway safety. Let employees know that if they observe a driver who is not driving safely (e.g., speeding) to let you know so it can be addressed.
  • Train employees on railcar safety, especially on communications with moving railcars, fall protection and all personal protective equipment.
  • Require employees to wear high-visibility clothing.
  • Remind employees about the importance of housekeeping to decrease the possibility of dust explosions. Direct employees to clean up all spilled grain to prevent slip and fall hazards.
  • Remind employees of using lock out/tag out when working on equipment, and to replace all guarding after a job is finished.
  • Discuss the signs and symptoms of fatigue, and ways to combat it.


  • Check and repair loose ladders, platforms, handrails and steps to prevent slip, trip and fall hazards. Be sure to check for midrails and toe boards on all platforms.
  • Replace or repair any protruding objects on bins or buildings that could cause injury or create a trip hazard.
  • Make sure all bins and other confined spaces are marked with appropriate signage.
  • Ensure all guarding is in place.


  • Clean the grounds of any debris, weeds or other obstructions that could cause decreased vision or a fall hazard for employees or visitors.
  • Post speed limit signs around the property.
  • Have a one-way route through the facility to prevent head-on collisions.


  • Require all visitors to sign in and be accompanied by an employee when on grounds.
  • Require visitors to stay in their vehicles, except in designated areas.

Planning and preparation can lead to a safe harvest season. Plan ahead today to have a successful and productive harvest season. Contact your agribusiness risk management consultant at Nationwide by calling 1-800-260-1356 or emailing

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