Augers in Oregon are regularly used in the processing of grain. When grain is stored in a grain bin, using a sweep auger can help move the grain efficiently from the grain bin to another conveyor. This mechanism travels at slow speeds around a grain bin. As it does this, a spiral blade called a flighting pulls the grain to a exit in the grain bin. Typically, a person will be in the grain bin while this happens to make adjustments to the sweep auger. However, recent OSHA laws have changed the way this device can be used.

Because the flighting and front of a sweep auger can’t be guarded, there is a possibility that personal injury or death can occur when a person comes into contact with the helical blade or other part of the sweep auger when it’s in operation. By implementing the Sweep Auger Safety Principles set in place by OSHA, use of sweep augers in Oregon can be safer and more productive.

Before a worker can enter a grain bin, there must be a bin entry permit. This permit ensures there are not any hazards inside the grain bin. An inspection is done before this permit is given. A qualified person will look at the grain bin and evaluate its condition before a worker can be present when a sweeper auger is in operation. After this permit is issued, a worker can’t enter the grain bin until the sub-floor auger and grain entry points are locked out. The grain bin must also be de-energized and a grate on the sweep auger must be in place to prevent injury to workers.

Because the depth of grain can measure many feet when it’s in the grain bin, it’s important to know how high the supply is before walking into the grain bin. Not doing this can present the risk of being engulfed by the grain. Workers inside a grain bin must be observed by a trained professional in accordance with 1910.272(g). Augers can enhance the production and use of grain. By following OSHA regulations, risks to workers can be reduced and even minimized.


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