(Posted Thu. Jul 31st, 2014)
The National Corn Growers Association applauds the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s announcement of the final guidance to the agency’s field staff restricting enforcement of grain safety standards. The guidance issued today ensures on-farm grain operations continue to fall under the long-standing exemption for farms and thus that OSHA will not take enforcement actions against farms with ten or fewer employees over the way they manage their grain bins.
“The guidance provides necessary clarity and guards against overreach,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “Farmers across the country already work tirelessly to ensure that their farms run in a safe manner. We thank OSHA for its efforts to provide certainty and ensure farmers ability to operate without unnecessary regulation.”
The guidance came as a result of a requirement included in the fiscal 2014 omnibus spending bill requiring OSHA to consult with USDA on the issue. OSHA withdrew a field memorandum that had led to the enforcement effort following the passage of this provision.
Grain bin entrapments fell from 57 in 2010 to 19 in 2012 according to statistics released by OSHA. During the same period, the number of fatalities resulting from such situations also fell from 31 to eight. Notably, NCGA released a video on the importance of grain bin safety and proper protocol in 2011.
To view the video, click here.