Governor Walz Declares this Week Grand Bin Safety Week
Minnesota — Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has declared this week, February 20th through 26th, Grain Bin Safety Week. Grain Bin Safety Week is an annual observance that occurs the third full week of February to promote grain bin safety on both farms and commercial grain-handling facilities. The Minnesota Department of Ag is joining in on the Governor’s efforts to reduce the number of preventable injuries and deaths associated with grain handling and storage though education and awareness of hazards and safe practices and procedures, according to Ag Commissioner Thom Petersen.
Grain operators and farmers can reduce the number the preventable injuries and death associated with grain handling and storage through education and awareness of hazards and safe work practices. Commissioner Peterson adds that the Department of Ag has grants available for farms to purchase grain bin safety equipment.
More information about the Grain Storage Facility Safety Grants can be found on the Minnesota Department of Ag website.
Petersen adds that as farmers we need to continue to talk about, practice, and encourage farm safety on a regular basis to prevent tragic accidents from happening on the farm.
According to the University of Minnesota Extension, on average, nearly two dozen people are killed each year in the U.S. in grain entrapment incidents. Around 80% of reported engulfments involve a person inside a bin when grain-unloading equipment is running. Engulfments in flowing grain can also occur in outdoor storage piles, grain wagons, rail cars and semi-trailers that unload from the bottom.
If you need to enter a grain, some safety precautions to keep in mind include:
- Always visually inspect the grain bin or storage area before entering it.
- Never enter alone, have at least one other person in a safe position watching you and there to help in case something goes wrong.
- Use fall restraint equipment and make sure it is properly anchored. These systems consist of a full-body harness attached to an anchored line that limits the distance the entrant can drop or fall.
- Most importantly, don’t allow someone who has not been trained to enter a bin with you or with anyone else.