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“I Was Buried Alive in a Grain Bin”

Grain bin accidents are one of the deadliest incidents that could happen during grain handling and processing. According to studies, six out of ten workers who fall victim to grain bin accidents don’t survive.

It’s one thing to hear about grain bin accidents and how dangerous they are; it’s a specter that could hover over an agricultural workplace. But somehow, such accidents are so much more real when you learn of the experience from someone who’d survived it.

Arick Bakers Experience

In a story that made news even to mainstream outlets, Arick Baker has recounted the harrowing experience of being buried alive in a grain bin. He had been warned by his father, even as a child, that “if you go down in the corn, you don’t come out.”

Baker was standing in the 60,000-bushel grain bin trying to break up chunks of rotten corn that were impeding the flow of the grain. He was using a PVC pipe to do it and, fortunately, wearing an oxygen mask. As Baker’s father left him on his own, the corn gave way beneath Baker, and he fell into an air pocket in the corn that was now rapidly filling, threatening to drown him. Only his fingers were sticking out in the grain.

The Rescue

He was unable to move from the weight of the corn, and he explains that it felt like he was being squeezed from the pressure all over his body, as though thousands of snakes were strangling him. Baker was stuck in the corn for a harrowing three to four hours before someone noticed he was missing in the grain bin, and Iowa Falls Volunteer Fire Department came in. At first, they couldn’t even find him until they heard him yelling beneath the grain, with the oxygen mask slowly running out of batteries. And then they started digging.

The grain shifted five times and avalanched back down before the fire department brought the grain bin rescue tube. It turned out to be a life-saving device as it was key to finally getting Baker free. The firefighters used it as a protection against the avalanching grain while getting Baker out of the corn.

It took a few more hours of digging before Baker finally was freed, his heart pushed to the limit, and corn being surgically removed from being embedded into his skin. It was a near-death experience that no one will ever forget.

And for people who work in agriculture, it’s a cautionary tale of the dangerous risks of handling grain.

Grain bin tubes and other life-saving devices are critical when working with any kind of grain in the grain bins. Visit KC Supply and learn more about them.

 

 

 

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KC Supply Discusses Grain Bin Safety Tips to Protect Workers

During harvest season, ways to protect workers start to gain traction among agricultural businesses. And few issues are as key to the season as grain bin safety. Grain handling is considered a significantly high hazard industry where six out of every ten workers who get trapped in a grain bin don’t make it out alive. It’s imperative for industries and businesses that handle grain products to be incredibly vigilant about worker safety.

Here are some critical reminders and tips for grain bin safety:

  • Alert everyone that workers will perform an activity in the grain bin. If it’s absolutely unavoidable to do work or a specific task while there is still grain in the bin, first alert everyone working on or around it about the activity.
  • Protect workers through a team system. No one should be working in the grain bin alone. A team of two or more, at the very least, is best. This way, there is always someone looking out for the worker inside and listening to their movements.
  • Test the air before entry. Before anyone goes into the bin or the silo, test the air for the presence of dangerous gas, combustible dust, and gases, and if there is enough oxygen in the silo for the worker to breathe comfortably.
  • Provide the whole team with safety equipment. The team in and around the grain silo needs to have standard safety equipment like lifelines, boatswain chairs, and other similar lifesaving gear. Even better, have a grain bin safety tube on standby ready to protect workers entering the silo if needed.
  • Check the positioning of the grain before entry. Has the grain accumulated onto one side of the silo or the bin? If so, do not enter that bin. There is a high risk of built-up grain falling in an avalanche on top of the worker, thus suffocating them.

These are just some of the critical safety reminders issued to protect workers working in and around the grain bin. Everyone must do their due diligence and ensure the safety of all workers during this season.

Need more information on how to keep workers safe in grain bins? Visit KC Supply to learn more about regulations and reminders.

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Prepare for a Safe Fall Harvest With these Important Reminders

Fall harvest is rapidly approaching, and while its still the sunny summer months, its always good to be prepared. This season is the peak of the harvest time, and there will be a lot of work to do for both large and small farms. Safety during harvest season should be the utmost priority of any landowner or business owner, so get ready for the season with these important reminders.

  • Prepare grain bins and safety equipment. A great deal of grain gets harvested during the fall season. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to prepare the grain bins and silos, so theyre ready to receive the years harvest. Furthermore, you need to prepare the safety equipment for handling grain, including grain bin tubes and other life-saving equipment, to prevent fall harvest accidents. 
  • Ensure the bins are clean and all components are working. Cleaning the bins prevents any issues from coming up later on. Checking for the bins’ structural integrity, foundations, and even its walls can ensure that its strong enough to handle the harvest operations and the crop itll hold. Make sure to check for leaks and that an access ladder is present at all times. 
  • Be aware of the machines at all times. Workers in the fields need to be thoroughly aware of where the harvesting machine is and whether its on or off. Regardless, no one should be near the harvesting machine when it is in the field during the fall harvest. No one should also maintain the machine while it is out on the field and operational. 
  • Provide workers with proper training. One of the best ways to avoid incidents is to ensure that all workers and supervisors have the proper briefing and training on their jobs. If youve hired more personnel for the harvest, be sure that they are appropriately trained and that they are aware of what their jobs will entail. Emphasize safety protocols and regulations to them. 
     
    The fall harvest can be an incredibly hectic but rewarding time. With the proper preparation, things should go off without a hitch.Always be mindful of the proper safety procedures during any season. Visit KC Supply to find out what equipment you might need for the fall harvest.
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Act Now and Prevent Heat-Related Illness in the Workplace

Heat-related illness and incidents are a prime concern in many industrial and agricultural industries, especially during the summer months. Over time, the summer season has become hotter and hotter. With that comes the substantial risk of heat-related incidents, especially for workers who do many tasks outdoors or labor indoors in enclosed, unventilated spaces.

Here are several critical ways by which you can prevent these incidents from happening at work.

  • Provide adequate hydration.
    Make sure all workers have plenty of access to water or a cold drink. As much as possible, they need to keep their body temperature down and avoid the risk of overheating. Urge them to drink water or liquids frequently to prevent heat-related illness. 
  • Emphasize the importance of breaks.
    After toiling long hours in the heat, workers need to take a quick break in between. Workers need to eat lunch and drink water in the shade, and take a rest before they go out there and resume their duties once again. Pacing themselves, especially during heavy labor and physically taxing tasks, is critical. 
  • Require the use of sunscreen and light-colored clothing.
    Sunscreen prevents outdoor workers from getting sunburns and reduces the risk of skin cancers or melanoma. Furthermore, sunburns can affect how the body regulates its temperature and thus need to be avoided. Light-colored clothing also keeps them cool by reflecting the hot sunshine. 
  • Be aware of the signs of heatstroke.
    Though heat-related illness prevention is better than a cure, its still important to know the signs if someone is showing symptoms of heat stroke or fainting. Workers may become disoriented, stop sweating, or collapse completely. To prevent the problem from worsening, spot and address the situation immediately, getting them the medical help they need. Heat-related illnesses are severe matters and could endanger the lives of workers. It could also come at a significant cost to any business. Avoid the risks of heat stress and be prepared for high temperatures.

    KC Supply prioritizes the safety of your workers and your team. Visit KC Supply to find much-needed safety equipment and more workplace safety tips. 

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KC Supply on an Emergency Action Plan: How To Be Prepared

An emergency action plan (EAP) is a critical component of any safety system in an industrial plant. Its the protocol for just about any establishment to have such a plan in case of accidents, emergencies, or high-danger situations. But in industrial settings, where there is more risk and a higher chance of serious accidents, its even more essential for companies to develop an EAP to ensure that everyone involved remains safe.

What is an EAP?

As defined by OSHA, an emergency action plan covers designated actions employers and employees must take to ensure employee safety from fire and other emergencies.” While not every employer is mandated by law to create such a plan, it remains in everyones best interests to develop an EAP to be prepared for any situation or incident.

How do you make one?

Your emergency action plan needs to be in writing. Every employee must be briefed or given a copy of the plan for review. In case a company less than ten employees, employers may communicate this plan verbally to them.

However, the EAP needs to have fire and emergency reporting procedures as well as emergency evacuation procedures. Remember that it needs to have evacuation types and assigned exit routes that employees can proceed to. The plan must also clearly demarcate floor maps that indicate where the emergency exits are. For power plants, water plants, and other major infrastructures, The EAP must also include procedures on how to shut systems down in case of emergency.

Furthermore, the emergency action plan needs to include an employee alarm system with a distinctive alarm that will alert all employees that an emergency is taking place. They must proceed with emergency procedures.

KC Supply reminds all employers with an EAP that any changes and individual employee responsibilities regarding the plans must get communicated to all employees covered by it. This makes sure that everyone, no matter what happens, knows what to do.

Workplace safety should be a major priority of any employer. Visit KC Supply to learn more vital information about workplace safety and procedures.

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KC Supply Shares Important Tips on Emergency Planning

Emergency planning and preparing for untoward incidences is part of workplace safety. For many companies, especially industrial ones, having the right plan and preparedness for accidents or emergencies could mean life or death. To protect both employers and employees alike, companies must carefully draft plans and procedures for such incidents.

Critical Emergency Planning Reminders

1. Brainstorm for scenarios. What could potentially go wrong in the workplace? What are situations that could result in a worst-case scenario? Brainstorming these ideas and conditions can help your company plan what to do or what equipment to prepare in anticipation of them. These could include: 

  • Natural disasters 
  • Fire 
  • Toxic chemicals or gases
  • Civil disturbance
  • Explosions 
  • Bodily harm

2. Create an emergency action plan. OSHA recommends that workplaces create an emergency action plan or EAP to prepare for these emergencies. At the minimum, there must be a reporting procedure, an alarm system, and evacuation policies and procedures involved. As a part of emergency planning, every employee the plan covers needs to be briefed on these procedures.

3. Install and purchase emergency equipment. Equipment such as fire extinguishers, oxygen tanks and masks, first aid kits, and other related needs concerning any expected scenarios must remain stocked in the building. Employees or staff with responsibilities in the EAP need to access these items when needed readily.

4. Train employees in medical emergency procedures. Instill basic first aid knowledge in your employees. You also want to identify which employees know CPR or have training for seizures if necessary.

5. Protect business assets. Emergency planning may include procedures on how to shut down or lock down the systems and machines. It prevents further damage from spreading and protects business assets throughout the company in these situations.

KC Supply emphasizes that emergency planning is more than just a necessary chore for any industrial company. It may make a world of difference against potentially millions of dollars in damages. And it could mean the difference between life and death.

KC Supply encourages industrial companies to equip proper safety and emergency equipment to avoid and address workplace accidents. Visit KC Supply to learn more.

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