Grain Safety on the Farm

Though grain may not seem to be an obvious risk on a farm or ranch, the dangers of grain during harvest, transport and storage can be deadly. With harvest here, we encourage everyone to take safety precautions when working with grain.

Grain safety is often a high-priority topic during Progressive Agriculture Safety Days®. “In a matter of 10 seconds, one can become totally submerged in flowing grain resulting in death by suffocation,” says Bernard Geschke, program specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation®. “Across agriculture, grain-related deaths occur far too often, and we believe it is critical to have this often unrecognized danger be a part of our education program.”

The most common causes of suffocation in grain include being trapped: 1) by flowing grain, 2) when grain bridges collapse, or 3) by an avalanche of a vertical grain wall.

What can parents teach their children to help them avoid a grain-related injury or death?

  • Always stay out of and away from grain bins and grain wagons even if grain isn’t flowing. Bridged grain can unexpectedly collapse and submerge a person. It takes less than five seconds for a person to become completely helpless in flowing grain.
  • Never go into the grain to try to save someone who is being entrapped.Attempting to rescue someone without proper equipment and assistance may result in you being entrapped as well.  The best thing you can do is to immediately get an adult to help. If you can’t find an adult, call 911.

These safety tips are examples of what children learn when they attend Progressive Agriculture Safety Days, which are held each year in more than 400 local communities throughout North America. Learn more about our farm Safety Day programs at

To learn more about grain safety, watch Bernard on AGCO’s YouTube video “Understanding the Dangers of Grain Entrapment”: