LANSING — Locally owned Michigan Agricultural Commodities Inc. (MAC) will be participating in the 2019 National Stand-Up for Grain Safety Week, marking the second consecutive year of participation in the nationwide event to raise awareness of the risks and resources available to reduce potential hazards at grain, feed and processing facilities.
The event, scheduled March 25-29, is sponsored by National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA), Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) through the Alliance Program, Grain Handling Safety Coalition, and the North American Millers’ Association.
During this week, locations across the nation will be focusing on worker protection and ways to reduce injuries and prevent fatalities from activities related to working in the grain industry. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) reports that Michigan’s food and agriculture system accounts for 22 percent of the state’s employment.
“As one of the largest grain handlers in the state of Michigan, safety at MAC remains a top priority,” according to MAC President Bruce Sutherland. “We intend to keep our employees safe, as well as share information that can help our farmer-customers do the same.”
According to Sutherland, a week devoted to Grain Safety provides an opportunity to conduct on-site activities, provide outreach and offer training information. Agriculture ranks among the most dangerous industries. However, most injuries and fatalities are preventable, including numerous OSHA and industry resources available to assist in preventing incidents.
“On Thursday, March 28, 2019, at 10 a.m., each of our facilities will host a Safety Stand-Up,” Sutherland said. “This Stand- Up will serve two purposes: to remember all those who have lost their lives working in the grain industry and to talk directly with our employees and farmer-customers about the importance of safety in our workplace.”
As a way of emphasizing MAC’s priority on safety, all daily operations and work activities will cease at each of the MAC facilities for an approximate two-hour period (from 10 a.m. to noon) for safety training activities, including a mock drill simulating the emergency action plan related to a fire at each MAC facility, says Sutherland.
“We invite all farmers and any others interested to join us for this Safety Stand-Up and training opportunity at their local MAC facility,” Sutherland said. “All facilities will begin the training exercise in their respective offices followed by an on-site fire drill activity. We ask our customers for their patience as work activities are put on hold this important safety activity and we encourage them to join us for this critical task.”
With seven elevators and almost 44 million bushels of storage, MAC is one of Michigan’s largest grain handlers with more than 100 employees. The privately held corporation buys, sells, and stores agricultural commodities throughout the United States and Canada.
For more information about participating in the Safety Stand-Up event visit http://www.standupevents.org/grain/index.cfm or contact the nearest MAC facility manager. Producers can also contact Erin Allen in the Lansing office by phone at 1-800-878-8900 or email: [email protected].