Harvest Safety Week brings company values in focus [Video]

NGFA’s Jess McCluer highlights fifth annual Harvest Safety Week resources for creating safety minded workplaces.

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Elise Schafer, editor of Feed & Grain: Hi, everyone, and welcome to Feed & Grain Chat. I'm your host Elise Schafer, editor of Feed & Grain. This edition of Feed & Grain Chat is brought to you by WATT Global Media and Feedandgrain.com. Feedandgrain.com is your source for the latest news, product and equipment information for the grain handling and feed manufacturing industries. 

Today, I'm joined on Zoom by Jess McCluer, Vice President Safety and Regulatory Affairs for the National Grain and Feed Association. He's here to update us on the annual Harvest Safety Week that NGFA organizes each year. Hi, Jess, thanks for joining me!

Jess McCluer, Vice President Safety and Regulatory Affairs for National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA): Hi Elise. How are you doing?

Schafer: Doing well. Happy to talk about harvest safety!

McCluer: Yeah, definitely looking forward to talking about our fifth annual event.

Schafer: Yes, absolutely! Now, can you describe the theme of NGFA’s Harvest Safety Week this year and why you thought it was important to focus on this subject?

McCluer: Sure. This year NGFA is going to focus the entirety of our Harvest Safety Week on safety as a value in the workplace and the importance of building safety first environments in grain handling facilities. So, during times of increased hazards — like harvest season — it's incredibly important to have an established safety program and NGFA member companies across the country have programs that rely on leadership, employee empowerment and innovative resources to send workers home safely each day. This year we'll publish several videos, featuring NGFA member companies, CEOs, safety directors and facility managers on their approaches to cultivating safety-minded workplaces.

Schafer: So, what are some approaches that elevators can take to cultivate a safety minded workplace at harvest and all year round?

McCluer: Sure, NGFA members are really experts in this area. We have nearly 1,000 member companies utilizing unique approaches that work for them and their employees and many of these companies employ experts in safety with decades of experience. They each have their own programs, but for example, some of them built programs based on the human and organizational performance (HOP) operating philosophy, which recognizes error is part of the human condition, and built systems that are more tolerant of error. NGFA recently published a podcast with Steve Scott, founder of HOP Improvement LLC, which breaks down the principles of this operating philosophy and how they might apply it in grain handling facilities.

Schafer: Can you tell us about the resources on safety culture that are available through the National Grain and Feed Foundation?

McCluer: Sure, several videos featuring NGFA members and leaders are available at ngfa.org/safety. These include a panel discussion on workplace safety culture as well as new videos we’re publishing this year featuring NGFA members discussing what valuing safety means to them, how attitudes toward workplace safety have changed over their careers and specific hazards they expect to address during the upcoming harvest season.

Our safety page has many other training videos and safety tip sheets dedicated to specific best practices including mitigating combustible dust, grain bin entry and a new one we’ll be releasing during Harvest Safety Week and lockout tagout procedures.

Schafer: All very important topics. Now, to wrap things up, what are the dates and how can our viewers get involved?

McCluer: NGFA is hosting its fifth annual Harvest Safety Week on August 21st through the 25th. During the week, we deliver harvest related safety information to anyone on our email list and encourage the sharing of safety resources available on ngfa.org/safety throughout the agricultural community. So go to ngfa.org and hit ‘Sign in’ to check if you're signed up to receive NGFA emails. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out to [email protected].

Schafer: All right! And on social media, tag safety event [posts] with the hashtag #HarvestSafetyWeek?  

McCluer: Correct — through Facebook and LinkedIn.

Schafer: Okay, excellent. Well, thank you so much for sharing your safety tips and more information about Harvest Safety Week.

McCluer: Great. Well, thanks for having me, Elise.

Schafer: Absolutely. That’s all for today's Feed & Grain Chat. If you'd like to see more videos like this, subscribe to our YouTube channel. Sign up for the Industry Watch daily eNewsletter or go to feedandgrain.com and search for videos. Thank you again for joining and we hope to see you next time!