Co-op News > October 2020 > Grain Bin Safety

Grain Bin Safety

Oct 05, 2020

Safety is the Priority.

When harvest is in full swing it’s easy to overlook safety precautions in the interest of time, but that’s no excuse. No amount of bushels is worth a serious accident or life. Take time to be safe while working on or near grain bins.

The University of Illinois Extension outlines practical grain bin safety tips every farmer can follow:

  1. Break up crusted grain with a long pole from outside the bin and be mindful of electric lines.
  2. Wear a harness attached to a secured rope if you do enter a bin.
  3. Stay near the outer wall of the bin and keep walking to get to the ladder or safety rope as quickly as possible if grain starts moving and you’re inside.
  4. Have at least one other person outside the bin in case you become entrapped. Make sure they’re trained on rescue procedures and know the safety procedures and rules for entering the bin.
  5. Anyone working in a grain bin needs to wear a dust filter or respirator.
  6. Stay out of grain bins, wagons and trucks when unloading equipment is running.
  7. If you do enter the bin, make sure all augers and fans are off and locked so they are not accidentally turned on while in the bin.
  8. Keep children far from bins, wagons or trucks.
  9. Install ladders inside grain bins for an emergency exit whenever possible and paint bright stripes so it can easily be located in a dusty bin.

While these safety tips can help prevent entrapment, grain bin safety starts with maintaining grain quality in storage. Most grain entrapment incidents happen because of poorly flowing grain resulting from some type of grain spoilage issue. Preventing spoilage by practicing better stored grain quality management and closely monitoring grain condition can help reduce incidents and even the need to enter the bin at all.

Matt Severson

VP - Risk Managment



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