Texas Cotton Ginners Trust works with a large number of grain storage and ginning operators and far too often accidents, injury and even fatalities occur because workers get in a rush and fail to properly lockout all equipment before performing service inside the bin. Failure to remove tools or personnel before the locks are removed and start up procedures resume also causes accidents inside grain bins.

"Also, I can tell you I have had the unfortunate obligation to be at a facility after an accident occurred and the first thing OSHA inspectors ask for is documentation on the training the employer provided those workers. There needs to be written documentation of training provided to every employee and on every piece of equipment at the facility. Your lockout-tag-out procedures and policy needs to be a comprehensive document and not a single page of instructions. You must provide a detailed procedure and OSHA investigators or inspectors are going to be looking at this carefully," he said.

Safety officials say retraining and review of lockout-tag-out procedures must happen at least once a year, but also if any policy or energy procedure has changed or if new employees have been added to replace authorized personnel. Retraining is also required if any piece of equipment in the chain has been updated or replaced.

More information about lockout-tag-out and other grain bin-related safety can be found at the OSHA website.