Let’s Be Proactive and Train to Stay Safe around Grain

By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation

Let’s begin with a Safety Limerick:

Children should never play in grain

May past farming incidents teach us and not be in vain                                 

Let’s educate our future generation

And give them the proper foundation 

To achieve greatness and none of the blame

As with many practices on the farm, producing grain can be dangerous. According to Purdue University, on U.S. farms there were 47 confirmed grain Gravity Box Wagon 17-356bin entrapments and incidents in other confined spaces in 2015. Our friends at Nationwide are helping to bring awareness to this important topic through their sponsorship and support of Grain Bin Safety Week held the third full week of February.

In an effort to help prevent further deaths and injuries, Nationwide collaborates each year with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) to offer safety trainings. In offering their fifth annual contest to provide rescue tubes to fire departments in rural areas, they are providing tools and resources needed if a grain bin incident occurs. The Progressive Agriculture Foundation whole-heartedly support this endeavor and are taking it a step further to educate our future generation of farmers – our children!

It’s downright scary the similarities grain has to quicksand. In a matter of seconds, one can become entrapped in grain and in less than a minute become fully submerged. Curiosity, size, strength and lack of experience are a major cause of injuries and fatalities for young children. Through hands-on activities and demonstrations, we strongly emphasize the following to youth participants at Progressive Agriculture Safety Days®:

  1. Always stay out of flowing grain.
  2. Never walk or play in or around stored grain.
  3. Never enter a grain bin, wagon, or truck.
  4. Stay away from a grain bin while the unloading auger or suction tube is operating.
  5. What to do in case of an emergency involving grain, including:
  • Turn off any equipment that is causing the grain to flow or move. This will stop the person from being pulled further underneath the grain.
  • Always assume the victim is alive and take the necessary measures to help the situation. This may include turning on aeriation fans and assuring dryer heat is turned off.
  • Call for help immediately. Never attempt to pull someone out of grain on your own.

While educating youth, always send the correct messages. Avoid confusing children by sending mixed messages when replacing sand boxes with corn at places like pumpkin patches, local parks and farm shows. A young child will have trouble understanding and identifying the difference between grain in a corn box and grain in a gravity flow wagon.

Learn more about 2018 Grain Bin Safety Week taking place February 18-24 and nominate your local fire department to be the recipient of essential grain safety resources by visiting https://www.nationwide.com/grain-bin-safety-week.jsp

Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® reach more than 100,000 individuals annually with fun, age-appropriate, hands-on safety education. To learn more, call 888-257-3529 or visit progressiveag.org. A modest donation of only $13, helps send another child to a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in North America. Donate by texting the word “safetyday” to 41444 or go to progressiveag.org/Donate to contribute on-line.

Photo: Our friends at Unverferth Manufacturing Co. Inc., support our efforts in teaching grain safety and have provided a new resource to strengthen our demonstrations at Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®. Unverferth graciously donated a gravity flow wagon to our program, which is being housed by our partners at NECAS in Peosta, Iowa.