Growing Safely - Auger Safety

A grain auger is a tube containing a solid shaft in the center with flighting (a spiral of flat steel that is welded onto the center shaft). Imagine what would happen if someone’s arm or leg got pulled into the end of an auger. The tips on the following page are intended to help you prevent auger accidents.

Common Grain Auger Injuries

  • grain auger at workLoss of limbs − Contact with and/or entanglement in the exposed screw at the intake end of the auger’s shaft often results in amputations.
  • Cuts and Fractures − An auger’s sharp corkscrew blade rotates as it draws grain up. Coming into contact with an unguarded blade can result in significant lacerations and broken bones.
  • Electrocutions − Electrocution is a frequent result of moving a raised grain auger around the farm and coming into contact with overhead electrical wires.
  • Death

Did you know most AUGER accidents are Operator caused?

Source: Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers’ Compensation Workplace & Medical Services, Outreach & Education


  • augerAll farm and auger operators should be educated about safe operating procedures and hazards associated with augers.
  • Follow the instructions in the manufacturer's operating and preventive maintenance manual.
  • Before starting an auger, ensure that all protective shields, as supplied by the manufacturer, are in place and in good condition. OSHA’s standard for safety of farm equipment requires placement of guards on some augers.
  • To prevent entanglement, auger operators shouldn’t wear loose clothing or jewelry or have long, untied hair.
  • Grain augers should be lowered to a horizontal position before being moved. Workers should observe the presence and location of power lines before raising an auger into position.
  • Whenever possible, operators should ensure good footing while working around augers. Portable augers should be placed on dry, level ground or a gravel pad. Spilled grain should be removed between loads, after the equipment has been turned off.
  • Operators should never use their hands or feet to redirect the flow of grain or other materials into the auger.
  • Augers should be clearly labeled as posing a hazard for entanglement and subsequent serious injury.
  • Those helping the operator should remain a safe distance (a minimum of 10 feet) from the auger.[2]

*Information Sources: CDC, and the Family Injury Resource Center

You can also check out the Growing Safely Auger Safety video on the Monsanto Off-the-Job Safety YouTube Channel or watch the embedded video below.

The Growing Safely video series is sponsored by Monsanto Company. Monsanto is committed to the safety of its customers, employees, and those in the communities where we live and work.

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Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More