SPRINGFIELD, Ill (WEHT) – Grain Bin Safety Week is February 21-27. According to a 2019 report by Purdue University, there were 67 documented agricultural confined space-related injuries and deaths in the United States. Of those, 38 were grain entrapments.
Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture Jerry Costello II says it’s easy to become complacent when workers have been in and out of bins for years and never had any problems. He says a lot of people make the mistake of thinking they are strong enough or fast enough to get out of flowing grain, but problems can snowball quickly.
Costello says it’s important to set aside time to go over safety measures and prepare farmers for a potential grain bin emergency.
State Fire Marshal Matt Perez adds that it’s important to always have at least two people working around a grain bin and not to take any unnecessary risks.
Farm workers should attend required safety training as a reminder to utilize the best practices while working in and around grain bins. In addition to required training there are several online training resources available:
- The Grain and Feed Association of Illinois
- The Grain Handling and Safety Council
- University of Illinois Extension