Safer Times: The Good Day's Work Blog

Dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Agriculture

Posted by Marty Huseman on Nov 16, 2017

Have you ever installed carbon monoxide detectors in your farm buildings?  If you haven’t, this may change your mind. A carbon monoxide detector or CO monitor is a devise that detects the presence of carbon monoxide (CO) gas to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. CO is a colorless, tasteless and odorless compound produced by incomplete combustion of carbon-containing materials. It is sometimes referred to as the “silent killer” because it is virtually undetectable without using a detection devise. 


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Topics: carbon monoxide

Safe Handling of Anhydrous Ammonia - Train Employees

Posted by Marty Huseman on Nov 14, 2017

Are you and your employees prepared for the fall handling of anhydrous ammonia (NH3)? 

Before anyone begins to work around or with anhydrous ammonia it may be best to review your employee roster and see who has been trained and who has not. It is commonly reported that injuries of all types are more prevalent with first year employees. Don’t let new employees slip through the cracks and assume they’ve had adequate training, be absolutely sure.  Employees not directly involved with anhydrous should also be trained as they need to know what to do and what not to do should an incident arise. The hazardous nature of working with anhydrous ammonia leaves very little room for error, especially for those who don’t understand the hazards.


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Topics: anhydrous ammonia, first aid, personal protective equipment (PPE)

Preventing Grain Dust Explosions Starts With You

Posted by Marty Huseman on Nov 9, 2017

To understand grain dust explosions, it is helpful to understand the elements that make up the fire triangle and the explosion pentagon. Many people are familiar with the fire triangle of heat, fuel and oxygen. By removing one of the three elements of fire, you can prevent or put a fire out.  OSHA says five elements must be present for a dust explosion to occur.  They are heat, fuel, oxygen, dispersion of dust and confinement. Industry experts sometimes refer to this as the explosion pentagon.  Like fire, if any of the 5 elements are removed, an explosion cannot occur.


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Topics: grain bins, dust explosions

Why Conduct Incident Investigations - Use Root Cause Analysis

Posted by Marty Huseman on Nov 2, 2017

“Those that don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.”  This quote will be around forever. Which leads me into this blog post on “why conduct incident investigations?”  Simply put, so the same incidents are not repeated. Injuries are reported because OSHA requires it. However, many incidents stop at the report stage.

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Topics: incident investigations, checklist

You Can Avoid Falls From Grain Bins

Posted by Marty Huseman on Oct 31, 2017

Falls in agriculture account for many serious injuries. One area I’d like to cover is falls from grain bins, silos and grain dryers. It’s difficult to quantify how many falls from bins there are because so many falls go unreported. Although less frequent than other falls in agriculture, falls from grain bins are more often severe to fatal.  In this blog, we raise several key issues that managers may consider for the sake of safety and fall protection.

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Topics: climbing & falling from heights

Dupont Bradley Curve - Should I Learn More About Safety Culture?

Posted by Marty Huseman on Oct 26, 2017

Why would a big corporation’s safety culture model have any relevance to safety in Agriculture?  If you are not familiar with the DuPont Bradley Curve, I strongly suggest learning more about it as it can shape how you think about safety first and its effect on productivity, quality of work, the work environment and profitability. The Bradley Curve shows an evolution of an organization's safety culture. This model allows you to place your organizations' culture along the curve and give insights to the vision of zero injuries. 

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Topics: safety culture, OSHA law & compliance, productivity / goals / motivation

OSHA Inspection - What Will They Be Looking For? (PART 3 of 3)

Posted by Marty Huseman on Oct 24, 2017

This is the final part of a 3 part series on OSHA inspections.  If you have not read the previous parts, go back and do that:

Click here for Part 1 - Why would OSHA pay me a visit? and click here for Part 2 - What to do when they show up?.

Can you pass these 5 commonly cited areas with your operation?

On my last post; OSHA Inspection – What to do when they show up (part 2) we covered things to know prior to an OSHA inspection. In this blog I want to address what OSHA might be looking for when they arrive for an inspection. 


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Topics: confined spaces, lockout-tagout (LOTO), machine guarding (PTOs/augers), OSHA inspections & violations, hazard communication, personal protective equipment (PPE), hazard analysis

OSHA Inspection - What To Do When They Show Up (PART 2 of 3)

Posted by Marty Huseman on Oct 19, 2017

This is the second part of a 3 part series on OSHA inspections.  See here for the other parts:

If an OSHA inspector arrived at your operation this morning, would you be ready for an inspection?  The number of OSHA inspections in agriculture are expected to increase. OSHA recognizes more and more ag operations have more than 10 employees and these operations fall under their jurisdiction.  OSHA does not announce they are coming, in fact, advance notice is prohibited.


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Topics: OSHA inspections & violations

OSHA Inspection - Why Would OSHA Pay Me A Visit?  (PART 1 of 3)

Posted by Marty Huseman on Oct 17, 2017

This is the first part of a 3 part series on OSHA inspections.  See here for the other parts:

There are 6 reasons that actuate an OSHA inspection in workplaces and they follow an order of priority. OSHA carefully prioritizes all complaints it receives based on their severity. It's best to understand them as each type can bring out an OSHA inspector for very different reasons. Normally OSHA conducts inspections without advance warning.

Chuck Palmer, partner in the Wisconsin-based law firm Michael Best & Freidrich LLP told a group sponsored by Farm Credit East says “OSHA is not going to give you advance notice of an inspection. They bank upon surprise.” It has been a trend over the last eight years. Because of limited resources, OSHA’s philosophy has been that of enforcement, the agency will send a notice to other employers that they could be next, much like motorists slow down when they see a police officer giving a driver a ticket on the side of the roadway.


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Topics: OSHA inspections & violations

Is Procrastination Holding You And Your Safety Program Back?

Posted by Marty Huseman on Oct 12, 2017

It’s not uncommon to hear people say, “we are totally on board with safety training”, however their second statement is “but we can’t seem to get around to it”.  At the heart of this is procrastination. We all do it to some degree: putting off for tomorrow what should be started today.  We try to put things out of our minds but usually end up carrying the load subconsciously.


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Topics: safety training program, productivity / goals / motivation

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