Grain Bin Accidents are Preventable
Nebraska Corn is reminding farmers to
“Take a Second for Safety” during Grain Bin Safety Week
LINCOLN, NE – On-farm grain storage is on the rise—and consequently—so are fatal accidents associated with grain handling and storage. That’s why the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Growers Association are placing special emphasis on grain handling safety during Grain Bin Safety Week, February 21-27, 2016. In observance of the week, Nebraska Corn’s goal is to help prevent grain related accidents by increasing the awareness of grain bin safety on farms and commercial grain-handling facilities.
“National statistics show that farming is one of the most dangerous occupations in America,” said David Merrell, farmer from St. Edward, Nebraska and chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board. “With on-farm safety a continued effort at Nebraska Corn, we believe it is increasingly important to remind all farmers, grain elevators and other grain handlers to slow down and take a second for safety when working with grain. We want both grain handlers and emergency responders to understand how to avoid grain bin accidents—and how to help someone who does end up in trouble in a grain bin.”
Record high yields, combined with an upward trend in on-farm grain storage capacity has experts projecting an increase in grain engulfment accidents. In 2015 alone, there were more than 22 reported grain bin entrapments, resulting in 11 fatalities. Grain engulfment accidents can happen in a blink of an eye. With just one misstep or a moment of distraction, a grain handler could find himself in a grain entrapment emergency. For instance, using a 10-inch auger, it would take a mere 25 seconds for a 6-foot person to be completely buried in grain.
“Grain Bin Safety Week provides a forum for the agricultural community to help prevent these tragic accidents from occurring,” said Morgan Wrich, program director for the Nebraska Corn Growers Association. “With the busy spring season around the corner, many Nebraska farmers are busy handling their on-farm grain storage—making this annual observance a timely opportunity to remind them and other grain handlers of the hazards of working around grain.”
It is important to take the extra second and follow the safety rules when it comes to working with grain stored in bins. Here are a few grain bin safety tips to keep in mind when you are working with stored grain:
- Use inspection holes or grain level markers to understand what’s happening inside the bin. Use a pole from outside the bin to break up grain bridges.
- You should enter a grain bin only if absolutely necessary. If you must get into the bin, use a body harness secured to the outside of the bin. Have at least two people watching over you as you enter and work inside the bin.
- Use hand signals to communicate—and make sure everyone you’re working with knows what those signals are.
These safety tips and more will be emphasized throughout Grain Bin Safety Week on Nebraska Corn Board’s website and the Nebraska Corn Kernels blog.
The Nebraska Corn Board is a self-help program, funded and managed by Nebraska corn farmers. Producers invest in the program at a rate of 1/2 of a cent per bushel of corn sold. Nebraska corn checkoff funds are invested in programs of market development, research, promotion and education.
The Nebraska Corn Growers Association (NeCGA) is a grassroots commodity organization that works to enhance the profitability of corn producers. NeCGA has more than 2,400 dues paying members in Nebraska. NeCGA is affiliated with the National Corn Growers Association, which has more than 36,000 dues paying members nationwide.
The Nebraska Corn Growers Association selected 13 participants was to attend the Nebraska Corn Growers 28th annual Washington DC Leadership Trip. From February 8th – February 12th, producers from across the state gained firsthand experience of Washington, DC and the legislative process.
The leadership visit to Washington is a great way for Nebraska corn farmers to engage with key contacts and help put a face on Nebraska agriculture. The participants had a full slate of meetings over three days. From meetings with Nebraska’s congressional representatives, to meetings with key industry contacts such as the Renewable Fuels Association, Animal Agriculture Alliance, Corn Refiners Association, North American Millers Association, Syngenta, CropLife, American Farm Bureau, Growth Energy, BIO, and US Grains Council –the participants were able to talk with a wide variety of people and organizations who have a great deal of influence over farming operations.
Chad McDaniel – Roca
Jared Moser – Crete
Kristi Moser – Crete
Brent Hopkins – Rogers
Jordan Bergquist – Oxford
Janae Bergquist – Oxford
Eric Pospisil – Wahoo
Amy Pospisil – Wahoo
Dan Kristensen – Minden
Dave Warner – Albion
Mitch Schweers – Wisner
Isaac Johnson – Cambridge
Randy Pelster – Petersburg
Steve Ebke – Daykin
Larry Mussack – Decatur
Joel Grams – Minden
Brandon Hunnicutt – Giltner
The 2016 class of the NCGA DuPont New Leaders Program, now entering its third year of helping farming couples and individuals become better communicators, leaders and advocates for agriculture, kicked this week in Des Moines, Iowa.
“We’re pleased to see this important program continue for a third year with DuPont’s generous support,” said Chip Bowling, NCGA president and a corn grower from Maryland. “NCGA has always believed that farmers themselves are the best leaders and spokespersons for agriculture, and this program is designed in particular for those just getting started in visible roles in the ag industry.”
“It was a privilege to meet this year’s distinguished class of DuPont New Leaders. There are many challenges and opportunities facing American agriculture, so I am pleased that we are investing in the next generation of leaders,” said Jeff Nawn, DuPont Pioneer Global Grain Trade Lead. “We look forward to watching them continue to develop their leadership skills and become stronger advocates for our industry.”
This year, 27 participants representing 16 states are involved in the program. Participating this year are: Sam Spruell, Alabama; Roger Smith, Arkansas; Jonathan and Bridget Hitchcock, Georgia; Matthew DeSutter, Illinois; Casey Schlichting, Iowa; Corey Pace, Kentucky; Sam and Stephanie Halcomb, Kentucky; Greg Dell, Maryland; Ben Storm, Minnesota; Brent Krohn, Minnesota; Bryce Krohn, Minnesota; Brian and Lynn Martin, Missouri; Joel McAfee, Nebraska; Deb Gangwish, Nebraska; Philip and Lindsay Sloop, North Carolina; Ben Bakko, North Dakota; Tyler and Whitni Drewes, Ohio; Rob Holman, Tennessee; Bert and Brittney Ring, Texas; Robert Baylor, Virginia; and R. Trent Jones, Virginia.
The New Leaders Program is implemented in three phases, with two plenary sessions: in Iowa this week and Washington in mid-July. At these sessions, participants will gain knowledge of communications and leadership skills and many of the top issues confronting American corn growers. They also will have the opportunity to see leaders in action in our nation’s capital and visit with their lawmakers. Between these two sessions, participants will be involved in national- and state-level programs supporting American agriculture.