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Registered: ‎04-30-2010

Should On-Farm Grain Bins Be Regulated?

Here is an NPR piece discussing a seminat I attended on the issue of grain bin safety.


A spokesman for the commercial side of grain storage thinks farmers, who are currently exempt from OSHA laws, should be subject.


"We've got farmers who are building more space and bigger space, and it's going to cause more issues," he told a grain bin safety conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, last fall. "I think it's time for industry, for government, for all of us to pause and have the conversation again about who is exempt and who is not exempt from some of the standards."

"Our industry," Adkisson said, "likes to play on a level playing field."


The suggestion that farms should be subjected to OSHA regulation drew defiance from James Meade, a farmer in Tiffin, Iowa, who was sitting in the audience at the conference.

"The bottom line to me is, don't pass a law that I won't obey, because I won't obey it," Meade told the group when it came time for questions. "I'll tell anybody that. I'll tell the OSHA guy that comes up to my place, 'I'm not going to do it.' "


The writer cherry picked my comments, but I'll admit wyat he quoted is the bottom line.


I started with the observation that overall there were very few grain bin deaths compared to highway deaths and that the only reason I thought the conference was being held was becaue the federal government was supporting it with grant money.  I suggested they should spend the money to reduce the number of car deaths.


I also said that some of their statistics did not reflect changing conditions.  For example, years ago, farmers fed livestock and had small, poorly ventilated bins.  It was common to blend bad grain with good and feed it.  Nowadays, many more farmers sell grain and it is not good business to let grian go out of condition. 


Grain going out of condition is the major cause of bridging and crusting which is a main reason for men getting in the bin and becoming entrapped.  


I hate to adimit it, but every speaker there drew a round of appluase except me.  Nobody clapped for me.  Maybe the audience had a predisposition to clap for where the money was coming from.


Do read the whole story - it's only a page.

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