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Alert

Silo collapse

Details on the potential danger of silos collapsing during transfer of grain or fertiliser products into or from silo storage.

Date: December 1, 2014
Keycode: 0178/01/12.14
Publication type: Alert
Industries: Agriculture, Forestry And Fishing
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Description

This safety alert contains details on the potential danger of silos collapsing during transfer of grain or fertiliser products into or from silo storage.Silo failure or collapse puts workers on or in close proximity to the structure at risk of serious injury or death.

Silo collapse

This Alert highlights the potential danger of silos collapsing during transfer of grain and/or fertiliser products into or from silo storage

Background
Recently a person died when a grain silo unexpectedly collapsed. The person was working alone and may have been transferring grain into the silo at the time of the collapse.

Silo failure or collapse places persons working on or in close proximity to the structure at risk of death or serious injury.

Control measures
Employers must, so far as is reasonably practicable, provide and maintain a working environment for employees and contractors that is safe and without risks to health Employers must also ensure, so far is reasonably practicable that persons other than employees of the employer are not exposed to risks to their health or safety arising from the conduct of the undertaking of the employer.

Self-employed persons must ensure, so far is reasonably practicable that persons are not exposed to risks to their health or safety arising from the conduct of the undertaking of the self-employed person.

This means that before commencing the transfer of product into or from silo storage employers and self-employed persons should:

  • ensure the silo has been inspected for signs of fatigue, corrosion or deformation
  • ensure footings and external structure framework is inspected to determine it is secure and has not been damaged by vehicle or other plant
  • ensure footings and surrounding ground have not been undermined by vermin, vegetation or soil erosion
  • ensure all welds are intact and free from signs of cracking and/or corrosion
  • ensure rivets, fasteners are intact and free from corrosion and wear
  • ensure all ladders and fixtures attached to and for use with the silo are secure
  • ensure all structural repairs and welds are completed by a competent person
  • ensure all defects are rectified prior to product transfer
  • maintain a clear area around the silo during unloading
  • ensure silo load capacities for products with different bulk densities are considered
  • only use a silo that has been designed, manufactured and approved by manufacturers for the product to be stored. Maximum storage capacity should never be exceeded.


Note: uneven distribution of product during transfer may place uneven force on the silo structure and contribute to silo failure.

Employers must ensure that employees and contractors are provided with sufficient information, instruction and training in the use of all equipment involved in the operation and/or ensure that adequate supervision is also provided.

Further advice can be obtained by discussing with silo manufacturers/suppliers what your storage needs are for your particular farm.


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