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Grain Bin Safety

grain bin safetyEvery year during harvest, we seem to hear about an injury or death occurring in or around a grain bin. It's hard to imagine that a kernel of corn or a soybean could do much damage, but when you are dealing with tons of grain, it's easy to see how something bad can happen.

Use Caution Around Grain Bins

It is very important that children do not play on, around, or inside a grain bin at any time.

If at all possible, stay out of a grain bin, but if you do have to enter, there are certain precautions you should take.

Before any grain is put inside the grain bin, emergency ladders should be installed to the sides of the bin. Ladders will give a person a chance to get out of the bin before they are crushed or suffocated.

Prior to entering the bin, use a pole to break up any grain that may be stuck to the inside of the bin. By breaking up the stuck grain, you will avoid hidden voids that you can fall into. Do not attempt to break up grain from the inside. The grain can collapse like an avalanche, quickly burying you and suffocating or crushing you.

Keep an eye out for any power lines while hitting the bin. You don't need to get electrocuted anymore than you need to be trapped in a grain bin.

If you do have to enter a bin, wear a safety harness that is attached to a safety rope and have at least two people stationed outside that are trained in grain bin rescue and other safety precautions. Wear a dust filter or respirator before entering the bin. The dust can make it difficult to breathe and you may not think clearly or may pass out.

Make sure that augers and fans are shut off before entering, along with any unloading equipment that may be attached to the bin. Disconnect the power so that they are not accidentally turned on while someone is inside. An auger or fan can grab your clothing or appendages, pulling you into the grain.

Stay near the outside wall of the bin. If the grain starts to shift, keep walking towards the ladder or the safety rope. You want to get out as quickly as possible before the moving grain can pull you down.

Be Smart, Be Safe

Farming is a dangerous time all year, but harvest time seems to be the worst. All the things that can happen in a grain bin can occur with a grain wagon, also, so pay attention when working with the harvest. Children shouldn't play on or around grain wagons, either. The pressure of collapsing grain is too strong for anyone to move if they are trapped in it.

All of us at Quad County Ag want you to be safe during harvest. We hope these tips help you, your family, and your employees remain out of harm's way around grain bins.



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