Agriculture safety experts with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University will hold a demonstration June 26 to help educate growers on grain bin safety.
Ohio State University Extension educators, first responders with the Ohio Fire Academy and Paulding County firefighters will hold the grain bin rescue demonstration at 6:30 p.m. at the Paulding County OSU Extension Office, 503 Fairground Drive in Paulding.
The demonstration is part of a two-day training program for farm families, 4-H youth, grain bin elevator employees, firefighters and first responders, said Sarah Noggle, an OSU Extension educator. The program will include demonstrations using the Grain Community Agricultural Rescue Trailer (C.A.R.T.) – Ohio’s first grain rescue simulator
OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.
The Friday portion of the event will feature a grain bin rescue demonstration designed to create awareness of grain bin safety for the general public, Noggle said. Saturday’s training event is specifically for local firefighters.
The grain bin rescue simulation helps prevent grain-handling injuries and increases grain bin safety education for farmers and farm families, Noggle said.
“This kind of safety education and training is important because some people aren’t aware of the dangers involved with grain bins, silos and hopper wagons,” she said. “Even a small amount of grain in them can be dangerous.
“If we can save one life by doing the training and increasing awareness, it is so worth it.”
Designed by CFAES faculty and students, the Grain C.A.R.T. is mounted on a 40-foot flatbed trailer and includes a grain bin, grain leg, gravity wagon and other training essentials.
The Grain C.A.R.T. is used statewide by the Ohio Fire Academy in its agricultural rescue direct-delivery training modules to educate first responders on grain bin engulfment.
It’s also being used with OSU Extension’s grain bin rescue outreach education program in rural communities to raise awareness among grain industry employees and farm families about the hazards of flowing grain.
Grain bin rescues can be classified as confined-space rescues, requiring technical training in various capacities. Rescue personnel have requested specific training in these unconventional rescue situations, where they have limited experience and limited knowledge of the agricultural conditions that exist, according to OSU Extension officials.
The need for grain-handling safety programs is significant, considering that every year approximately 26 Ohio farm workers lose their lives to production agriculture. Flowing grain and grain storage is one of the contributing factors. In the past 10 years, 14 Ohio farmers have died due to engulfments in grain bins, entanglements in augers, falls from grain bin-related structures and electrocution.
Just this month, a veterinarian was found dead inside a grain feed mixer on his family farm in Madison County.
Safety tips OSU Extension has for growers and anyone working with grain bins and silos include:
• Stay out of the grain bin if possible.
• Never enter a grain bin when the unloading equipment is on, even if the grain isn’t flowing.
• Never enter a grain bin alone. If entry into the bin is necessary, always have at least one observer outside the bin, and make sure all augers are turned off. One person is to enter the bin, and the others should remain outside in case an emergency occurs. Always use a body harness with a lifeline secured to the outside of the bin.
• Wear an N-95 respirator when working around grain, as it keeps 95 percent of the dust and other pollutants from the grain from entering the lungs.
• Don’t enter a bin that has automatic unloading equipment without first locking out power to the equipment.
• Be cautious around out-of-condition grain, including grain caked to walls. Dangers result from molds, blocked flow, cavities, crusting and grain avalanches.
• Lock doors, gates and discharge chutes of any grain storage units.
• Keep kids out of grain wagons, carts and semi beds.
• Block ladders and egress points (for example, a ladder guard) to limit kids’ access.