Grain bins can be a dangerous place to work, and grain entrapment accidents are increasing, according to a 2017 report published by Purdue University.
Purdue keeps a database on reported accidents in confined agricultural spaces. In 2016, the school recorded 29 incidents involving grain entrapment accidents, 11 falls into or from grain storage structures, 10 asphyxiations in toxic environments and eight accidents involving entangled equipment.
Those numbers represent a 25% spike in the number of cases documented in 2015, according to Purdue’s report, which is compiled annually.
Much like quicksand, flowing grain can bury a worker within seconds. Trapped in chest-high grain, a person can suffocate quickly. Submerged in grain, it can take just four seconds for a person to become trapped to the point of helplessness.
To help rescue workers save people involved in grain entrapment accidents, Nationwide is launching its fifth-annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest to coincide with Grain Bin Safety Week. The goal is to prevent injuries and deaths by widely promoting safe bin-entry procedures, which include maintaining quality grain, testing bin atmosphere for toxic gases and wearing proper safety equipment. Contest winners will receive a grain rescue tube and rescue training.
Since 2014, Nationwide has awarded grain bin rescue tubes and training to 48 fire departments in 18 states. To help prevent further deaths and injuries, Nationwide collaborates with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) to provide safety training. The director of NECAS travels to training locations with a state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulator and rescue tube. The comprehensive training sessions include classroom education and a rescue simulation with the entrapment tool, which is loaded onto a 20-foot trailer and able to hold about 100 bushels of grain.
“Nationwide created this program and joined forces with partners across the country to make it happen for a single purpose – to save lives,” said Brad Liggett, president of Nationwide Agribusiness. “We understand the importance of the work that farmers are doing every day, and we will continue to make the rescue tubes and training available as long as these dangers exist.”
Last year, Glenville, Minnesota, Fire Chief Matt Webb rescued a man who had fallen into a bin of rotting corn. “The grain rescue training came back quickly, and it was a relief we had our own equipment,” he said. “The program that’s out there for these tubes and training is such a life-saving resource in our county.”
Grain Bin Safety Week is Feb. 18-24, 2018, and nominations for the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest will remain open until April 30. Both are supported by Nationwide and the following partners:
- KC Supply
- Agri-Business Insurance Services
- Arthur J Gallagher & Co.
- The Cornerstone Agency Inc.
- David Larson Financial and Insurance Services Inc.
- First Gabrielson Insurance Agency
- KFSA Insurance Agency
- The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety
- Nationwide Land As Your Legacy
- NOHR Wortmann Engineering
- Ravenna Feed & Grain
- The Scoular Company
- Sietsema Farms Feeds
- Specialty Risk Insurance
- West Side Salvage
“KC Supply Co. is proud to support this great cause to help save lives,” said Jeff Lavery, owner of KC Supply. “We have supported Nationwide’s program for a number of years and are grateful to continue to have this opportunity.”
KC Supply is a distributor of conveying and elevating equipment plus safety supplies for the ag industry. For more information, call 1.800.527.8775 (1.800.KC.SUPPLY) or visit www.kcsupply.com.
For more information about the program or nomination process, visit www.grainbinsafetyweek.com or watch this video.