Working with silos can be dangerous and even the most experienced farmers can be injured. The right approach can help you and your farm workers keep safe.
Tips to working with safely with silos
- site selection, preparation and installation is appropriate
- emergency planning is in place
- signs are displayed on each container/equipment notifying of hazards
- training of self and workers is up to date
- ladder and top hatch access is lockable and falls from heights hazards are controlled
- confined space hazards and risks of entrapment in grain or other substances are controlled
- fire and explosion risk (including grain dust) is controlled
- electrical safety is considered (RCD are fitted and there is no work near overhead power lines)
- bulk handling plant and equipment for loading and unloading is guarded
- personal protective equipment is available for all workers
- inspection and maintenance is carried out regularly by competent workers.
This silo safety self-assessment checklist aims to minimise risks associated with the use of silos, augers, field bins, chaser bins and bulk handling equipment used on farms. There is also a code of practice on how to manage the risks associated with confined spaces in workplaces.
- For farmers: NSW Farmers Association
- for commercial fish operations owners: Commonwealth Fisheries Association (CFA)
- for forest products growers and support: Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA)
- for agriculture and fisheries workers: Australian Workers’ Union (AWU)
- for forestry workers: The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU).