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Introduction to Grain Operations (4 Hr.)

29 CFR 1910.272 — Grain Handling Facilities; ANSI Z117.1 — Safety Requirements for Confined Spaces; 1910.147 — The Control of Hazardous Energy; 1910.252 Welding, Cutting, and Brazing; OSHA CPL 03-00-008, Subject: Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program; and NFPA 61 Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities. 

This course is intended to serve as an introduction to the key purposes, equipment and processes of grain handling facilities and is intended to cover the most common hazards at grain facilities, and to emphasize safety at all facility levels and operations. This course will also cover the risks associated with combustible dust, control of electrical installation hazards, and developing controls and strategies to prevent or mitigate combustible dust fires and explosions.


OSHA states that employers of grain handling facilities must provide training to employees at least    annually and when changes in job assignment will expose them to new hazards. Current employees, and new employees prior to starting work, must be trained in at least the following:


  • General safety precautions associated with the facility, including recognition and preventive measures for the hazards related to dust accumulations and common ignition sources such as smoking; and, 

  • Specific procedures and safety practices applicable to their job tasks, including but not limited to, cleaning procedures for grinding equipment, clearing procedures for choked legs, housekeeping, hot work, preventive maintenance and lockout/tagout procedures; 

  • Employees assigned special tasks, such as bin entry and handling of flammable or toxic substances, must be provided training to perform these tasks safely. Training for an employee who enters grain storage structures includes training about engulfment and mechanical hazards and how to avoid them. 


The grain handling industry is a high hazard industry where workers can be exposed to numerous serious and life threatening hazards. These hazards include: fires and explosions from grain dust accumulation, suffocation from engulfment and entrapment in grain bins, falls from heights and crushing injuries and amputations from grain handling equipment. Grain handling facilities are facilities that may receive, handle, store, process and ship bulk raw agricultural commodities such as (but not limited to) corn, wheat, oats, barley, sunflower seeds, and soybeans. Grain handling facilities include grain elevators, feed mills, flour mills, rice mills, dust pelletizing plants, dry corn mills, facilities with soybean flaking operations, and facilities with dry grinding operations of soycake.

This course satisfies the training requirements for the OSHA 29 CFR 1910.272 — Grain Handling Facilities.


Course topics include:

• housekeeping; • lock-out/tag-out and grain bin-entry procedures; • entry permits; • machine, engulfment, entrapment and atmospheric hazards; • atmospheric testing; • respirator and continuous forced air ventilation; • fall and engulfment protection; • hot Work and ignition control; • grain dust fires and explosions; • prevention of fire and dust explosions From the manufacturing, processing, and handling of combustible particulate solids;  • bulk storage enclosures;  • air-moving devices (fans & blowers);  • fugitive dust control; • ignition sources: mechanical sparks, electrical equipment;  • static electricity & open flames & sparks;  • fire protection (fire extinguishers, automatic sprinklers, etc.);  • employee training requirements, inspection and maintenance; • grain entrapment rescue sleeves and auger. 

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