Seed House Safety And Maintenance Procedures

Overhead seed houses are valuable for short-term seed storage, wet seed storage and gins with limited yard space. With recent design improvements, overhead seed houses can also provide a highly efficient method for loading trucks from flat-storage houses.

When fully loaded, a double-hopper seed house can weigh 200,000 pounds or more. This load hovers above trucks and personnel, so structural integrity is critical. Volatile weather can put older seed houses at risk, especially those that have not been properly maintained. Through the years, moisture and chemicals from seed along with humidity cause the inevitable – rust and corrosion. Since the damage primarily occurs inside the seed house, it’s out of sight and mind. If a structural failure occurs, personnel are put at risk of injury.

All cotton gins should review their overhead seed house safety and maintenance procedures before the start of the 2017 cotton ginning season.

Safety Tips
Never go beneath a seed hopper when it contains seed.
Be sure all ladders and catwalks are properly guarded.
Do not enter the seed trailer or climb on the side walls
of the trailer.
Post decals stating “DANGER – DO NOT ENTER AREA BELOW HOPPER DOORS WHEN SEED IS IN STORAGE HOUSE” are available free from your local
ginning association.
Contact your ginning association or loss control
representative to get a copy of the “Cottonseed System Safety Policy” for employees, visitors and outside contractors such as seed haulers.
Use all other commonly known safety practices every day.
Maintenance Actions
All proper safety precautions should be taken by all personnel who perform maintenance and repairs.
Clean out all seed.
Clean hopper panels to remove seed oil. Steam
cleaning consistently works well.
Use sanding and steel brushing to make the inside surfaces of the hopper panels smooth again.
Carefully examine the entire seed house for stress
fractures and loose hardware, especially if vibrators have been used.
Remove rust and corrosion.

Trailer-Viewing Catwalk
The best industry practices include the use of a trailer-viewing catwalk mounted on the outside of the vertical columns, approximately 9.5 feet above the driveway. This provides the operator a good vantage point to see into the tops of the trailers and to determine when to open and close the hopper doors.

Jim Granberry, president of Cliff Granberry Corp., contributed this article. Email him at or call (972) 381-8899. For more information, visit


OSHA Suspends Injury And Illness Reporting Rule
The Injury and Illness Reporting Rule was developed a few years ago, and some of its provisions kicked in last summer. We (Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association) have discussed these in district meetings. The provisions are things that gins would normally do, such as informing employees about how to report injuries and not discriminating against employees who do report injuries.

The last and most concerning part of the rule was scheduled to begin on July 1 this year. On this date, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was scheduled to have a database set up on its website. Gins would be required to enter the data from their OSHA 300A into the agency’s portal. In the rule, OSHA was scheduled to publish this data for the public to review. In May, OSHA announced it was not accepting electronic submission of injury and illness logs at that time. OSHA is proposing to extend the July 1 date. There is no word as to how long the rule will be delayed, but it is likely the delay will be substantial. And the rule possibly will be modified before it is implemented.

For now, there is no portal to enter the data. Since the rule is delayed indefinitely, there is nothing gins need to do at this time. We will be monitoring the situation and will let you know when we have more information about this rule.

The Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association provided this article.

Cotton’s Calendar 2017

  • July 10-12: Southern Southeastern Mid-Year Board Meeting, Marriott Grand Dunes, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
  • July 10-12: Southern Cotton Ginners Association Summer Meeting, DoubleTree by Hilton Lafayette, Lafayette, La.
  • July 12: Plains Cotton Growers Inc. Board Meeting, Bayer Museum of Agriculture, Lubbock, Texas
  • July 20: Calcot Ltd. Board of Directors Meeting, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Aug. 8-10: Cotton Board/Cotton Incorporated Joint Meeting, Durham, N.C.
  • Aug. 16: Plains Cotton Cooperative Association Board Meeting and Delegate Body Meeting, Lubbock, Texas
  • Aug. 17-18: 2017 American Cotton Producers/Cotton Foundation Joint Summer Meeting, Westin Buckhead Atlanta Hotel, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Aug. 23-25: National Cotton Council Mid-Year Board Meeting, Peabody Hotel, Memphis, Tenn.
  • Sept. 20: PCCA Annual Meeting, Lubbock, Texas
  • Sept. 20: PCCA Board Meeting, Lubbock, Texas
  • Sept. 20: Staplcotn/Stapldiscount Annual Meeting, Greenwood, Miss.
  • Sept. 25: Calcot Ltd. Board of Directors/Auditors Meeting, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Sept. 26: Calcot Ltd. Board of Directors Meeting/90th Annual Meeting, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Oct. 11: PCG Inc. Board Meeting, Bayer Museum of Agriculture, Lubbock, Texas
  • Oct. 18: PCCA Board Meeting and Delegate Body Meeting, Lubbock, Texas
  • Nov. 15: PCCA Board Meeting, Lubbock, Texas
  • Dec. 5-7: Cotton Board/Cotton Incorporated Joint Meeting, St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • Dec. 20: PCCA Board Meeting and Delegate Body Meeting, Lubbock, Texas


Jan. 3-5: Beltwide Cotton Conferences, Marriott Rivercenter Hotel, San Antonio, Texas
Feb. 9-11: NCC Annual Meeting, Omni Hotel, Fort Worth, Texas
April 5-6: TCGA Annual Meeting and Trade Show, Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, Lubbock, Texas

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