The process of cleaning a silo can be incredibly difficult and even dangerous if you don’t have the necessary training and the right safety precautions in place – and even once you do, it is still vital hat every safety measure is kept in place. Many people don’t realise what a complicated job silo cleaning can become, but here are a few of the incredibly important safety measures that have to be taken:
It’s important to understand the silo properly, and the first thing which has to be considered is the sheer size that you’re dealing with – these structures can be as big as 275 x 90 feet, so failing to wear a harness is simply not an option. Since silos are so big, but not designed with human entry as a top priority, the use of a harness can ensure that slips or trips don’t result in nasty injuries.
In fact, this is just one of a number of vital pieces of equipment which should always be used during the cleaning of a silo. Cleaners are also in danger of becoming exposed to toxic gases such as nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide, meaning that breathing apparatus is also an essential requirement.
The very specific equipment, entry procedures and general knowledge that’s needed before entering or cleaning a silo mean that it typically takes several years to complete the necessary training. This training covers elements of the cleaning process, such as entry, which pose a lot of risks, going over the identification of hazards which need to be limited, and how to use a tried and tested rescue plan.
Even grain silos which don’t contain a risk from toxic gasses come with a great many hazards that have to be controlled for, burial, dangerous mould and moving machinery being some of the most intense. Since the mould and dust present can prove just as harmful as gasses, breathing equipment remains necessary regardless of the silo’s content.
Cleaning a silo certainly is a big job; luckily, today there is equipment available to keep it much safer! To recap, some of the most important things to remember are:
- Ensuring that machinery has been turned off in advance.
- Always having a professional outside of the silo to assist in an emergency.
- Keeping a fail-safe rescue plan.
- Identifying and preparing for any hazards.
There’s no doubt that this tricky job requires a great deal of time and effort, so hopefully our guide has given you a greater understanding of the safety precautions which simply must be taken.