The NGFA is committed to promoting safety and health in the workplace, and shares the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) commitment to protecting employees.

The NGFA’s extensive efforts to enhance safety include unprecedented research and education efforts launched in the early 1980s that helped lead to a dramatic reduction in the number of fire and explosion incidents in commercial grain-handling facilities in the late 1970s. The industry has demonstrated its commitment, before and after the promulgation of the OSHA’s grain handling standard, 29 CFR 1910.272, in 1988.

OSHA and NGFA Alliance

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) formed an alliance, which will allow the grain, feed and processing industry to work more closely and collaboratively with the regulatory agency. Learn more on the Alliance page

The NGFA and OSHA hosted its annual safety outreach effort – the “Stand-Up for Grain Safety Week” – from March 25-29, 2019, to help raise awareness about grain handling and storage hazards, provide education and training, and convey safety best practices.
View "Industry Best Practice" sheets and more information here

OSHA Emphasis Program Topics

OSHA currently has emphasis programs that apply to grain, feed, and processing facilities within the jurisdiction of all Regions V, VI, VII, VIII and X Area OSHA Offices. Based on these programs, inspections will primarily focus on the six major hazard areas of engulfment, falls, auger entanglement, struck by, combustible dust explosions and electrocution.  

Training & Education

The NGFA's "Safety Tips" series is published periodically as part of the Association's continued commitment to safety in the workplace. These documents are designed to provide more information on certain types of hazards and suggested ways to protect employees through safety best practices. View each "Safety Tips" sheet below.

Training Employees on Revised OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (66 mins.) |  Nov. 14, 2013 | View webinar | View presentation slides

NGFA Update on OSHA's Enforcement of Boot Pits (61 mins.) | Oct. 22, 2013 | View webinar | View presentation slides 

NGFA Director of Safety and Regulatory Affairs Jess McCluer will lead several safety seminars over the next few months starting in January 2016.  Each year, NGFA jointly sponsors safety seminars with affiliated state and regional grain and feed associations. The one-day conferences focus on keeping grain handling employees physically safe.

He will travel around the country to discuss emerging and evolving regulatory issues from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) as well as overviews of implementing safety and health management plans and quality management practices for grain handling facilities.

Please see safety seminar dates and presentations here.

The NGFA-produced "Training Modules" through Articulate 360 are published periodically as part of the Association’s continued commitment to safety in the workplace. These modules are funded by the National Grain and Feed Foundation and are designed to provide information on certain types of hazards and best safety practices within the grain handling and feed industry. Check here often to find new, relevant and interactive content.

Articulate 360 Training Module: Slips, Trips, and Falls

Grain Bin Entry Safety

NGFA Manager of Safety, Education, and Training Jim Seibert reviews the basic safety precautions and equipment needed to enter a grain bin. This short video, funded by the National Grain and Feed Foundation, breaks down each step of the process to ensure managers and employees don’t miss a step and stay safe every day. Watch now.

Your Safety Matters

Developed jointly by the NGFA and Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS), this safety training DVD is geared specifically to employees of grain handling, feed manufacturing and grain processing operations. The 30-minute DVD, which also is available in Spanish, addresses many safety-related issues, including confined space safety. Members:  Watch      Download       Non-members:  Watch      Download

Grain Bin Safety on the Farm

The National Corn Growers Association and the National Grain and Feed Foundation (NGFF) – the NGFA’s research and education arm – completed a joint DVD project to promote grain bin safety on the farm. Preview the video for more information.

Don’t Go With the Flow

Developed in 1998 by Purdue University under a contract with the NGFF, this program reviews the hazards associated with flowing grain and the most common types of grain entrapments at commercial facilities. Preview the video for more information. (Order Form)

NGFA Guidance Document for Compliance with OSHA Update to Subpart D Walking-Working Surfaces
  • This guide provides a basic overview of the changes made to the general industry standards addressing slip, trip, and fall hazards found in Subpart D of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. The guide is meant to serve as a foundation upon which individual companies can build their own tailored plans specific to their facility, operations, personnel, and other conditions. Sample documents found in the appendices provide templates that may be used to update site-specific programs and procedures.
Overview of OSHA Final Rule on Electronic Reporting
  • On May 12, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule requiring certain employers to submit data electronically from their work-related injury records to the agency. The final rule also solidifies OSHA’s anti-retaliation protections for employees reporting work-related injuries and illnesses.The final rule generally becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2017.  However, compliance with anti-retaliation provisions and reporting deadlines will be phased in through 2019.
OSHA Hazard Communication Guide
  • NGFA and the American Feed Industry Association released a hazard communication compliance  guide for consideration and use by grain handling, feed, ingredient and processing facilities. With a June 1 implementation deadline approaching for compliance with major elements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s recently revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), the associations created the document to ensure the industry is prepared for updated compliance requirements. For more information, download the free, nearly 50-page document.
  • Please note – If you share the document, please include the following information: “This document is distributed with the permission of the National Grain and Feed Association, the American Feed Industry Association, the Corn Refiners Association and the North American Millers Association.” We also ask that the credit include the name of the publication and the publication date (e.g., “The document Guidance: Hazard Communication Program at Grain Handling, Feed, Ingredient & Processing Facilities was originally published in May 2015”).
  • For more information, see the recorded webinar where experts from the organizations highlighted recent changes and provided answers to members’ most frequently asked questions.
Permit Required Confined Space/Boot Pit Evaluation Guide for Grain Elevators
  • NGFA prepared a guidance document to assist grain handling facilities in evaluating their boot pits to determine whether they meet OSHA’s definition of permit-required confined spaces.
Guidance for Sweep Auger Operations in Grain Bins
  • This guide provides basic concepts to assist grain handling facilities in developing and implementing a sweep auger operations safety policy.

Facility Risk-Assessment and Security Guide

NGFA Guidance for Complying with UGRSA Facility Security Plan

Safety and Health Compliance Manual

Research Projects

National Fire Protection Association Study

A significant increase in costs and loss of overall storage capacity for both concrete and steel bins were the findings of recent study on the application of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) explosion/deflagration venting requirements per latest editions of NFPA 68 – Standard on Explosion Protection by Deflagration Venting. The NFPA standards are commonly used in North America (Canada, United States and Mexico) as the basis for determining if explosion venting is required and if so, the total amount of vent area required.

This study was financed by the National Grain and Feed Foundation and was conducted by the engineering firm Van Sickle, Allen and Associates in Minneapolis, Minn. The NFPA briefly considered conducting a research study to determine appropriate venting ratio data for silos utilized for storing agricultural commodities, including grains and oilseeds. The NFPA research was intended to follow up on one conducted through the NGFA’s Fire and Explosion Research Program in 1983. However, the NFPA Foundation ultimately decided not to pursue new research.

For more information, see an Executive Summary on the report.

To order a full copy of the 90-page study, the cost is $250 for non-NGFA members and $100 for NGFA members, contact Jess McCluer, NGFA vice president of safety and regulatory affairs.

More information to come.

Recent News

Recent articles, press releases and issue advisories on safety.