The large towers or pits used to store for example grain, cement, dog food etc. are very important to keep clean. This is done through companies specialising in cleaning silos. This is an important job because if the silos aren’t maintained or cleaned properly there could be consequences such as overflow, contamination of the material and reduced space. Here is a general day for a silo cleaner:
Mainly, the silo cleaner will be expected to clear blockages and build ups in silos. They can be expected to work long hours, some jobs on-going into the weekend.
The frequency they will have to clean the silos depends on the material inside the silos. If there is food matter inside they will have to take care to clean more frequently than if it was something else, for hygiene matters. Also other materials could become problematic if the silos are left for a long time without cleaning or inspection, such as cement, which would clog the silo. Therefore a silo cleaner would frequently inspect whether the silo needs cleaning and if there are any problems. One thing they look for is leaks which can be a sign of contamination or silo wall deterioration.
The most important factor a silo cleaner has to take into consideration is safety. In most cases, after preparation, the silo cleaner will scrape or brush the inside walls of the silo. This is a confined space at a hight and therefore safety regulations apply. Firstly, they have to make sure there is enough oxygen, and that they take precautions not to breathe in too much dust. They may have their own breathing apparatus. Usually the worker will have a platform, or “cage” they can stand in which is built in the silo. The cleaner must also inspect the platform/cage to make sure it is safe to use. The cleaner will usually also have received training of how to get into small spaces. Usually the cleaner can expect to work in a team which can be made up of about 3 people and 1 team leader.
Most silos are cleaned dry by scraping and brushing but sometimes the cleaner may be expected to perform a wet wash. This can be done if the material inside the silo will dissolve, such as sugar. Some companies even train their employees to clean the silo without entering it.
Some job titles may also expect you to join in on yard work and other maintenance work while not cleaning silos. Other additions could be taking swabs, taking photographic evidence, doing a detailed report and making a hygiene certificate.