The Grain Handling Safety Coalition promotes the following best practices for youth working in grain.  Youth is defined as persons under 18 years of age. As working in and around grain is known to be extremely dangerous, even for adults, special care should be taken to ensure the safety of young workers.

Position Statement for Youth Working with Grain

Youth should not be inside any storage structure, wagon or other type of equipment when grain is being loaded, unloaded or transferred.

  • Youth should not be in grain bins or silos or in/around flat storage structures unless they are empty, proper lock-out/tag-out and other safety procedures are followed, and the youth is at least 16 years old. (see box below)
  • All youth must be trained by an experienced and knowledgeable adult in best practices and company policies and procedures regarding all work they will be engaged in. This training should include safety information for working with grain, including the mandatory or recommended use of personal protective equipment.
  • Youth should be able to climb a ladder correctly using 3 points of contact. Grain bin and silo structures should be equipped with ladders that have ladder cages, rest platforms, steps, and handrails as required by OSHA or youth will use personal fall protection that includes a body harness and lifeline system. Youth under 16 years of age cannot work at heights over 20 feet.
  • Employers must check and comply with all local and state laws and regulations.

Adult/Employer Responsibilities

  • Provide appropriate supervision and training
  • Ensure all equipment is locked out and tagged out
  • Ensure bins and silos are aerated before entry
  • Youth is fitted with personal protective equipment and trained to use it
  • Ensure youth changes outer clothing and washes hands when finished
  • Adult must assess/ensure youth’s ability to perform the task, using recognized guidelines (e.g.

Personal Protective Equipment

  • Non-skid shoes
  • Respirator or Dust Mask
  • Eye Protection
  • Work gloves

Child Labor Requirements in Agricultural Occupations:

Child Labor Requirements in Non-Agricultural Occupations:

Safety Guidelines for Hired Adolescent Workers:

North American Guidelines for Children’s Agricultural Tasks: