Agriculture

The safety contest raises awareness of the safety of the grain basket

For rural Americans, seeing grain baskets dot the landscape is often a daily occurrence. However, these storage facilities pose very serious and threatening dangers to agricultural workers if proper health and safety procedures are not followed. In just 20 seconds, a farmer can sink into the grain-like stream of moving grain and become completely trapped, with little hope of survival. Such accidents have resulted in 81 deaths in the last five years.

To draw attention to the dangers and prevent these tragic accidents, Nationwide has opened its ninth annual Fire Department Nomination Contest in recognition of Cereal Basket Safety Week. The annual advocacy campaign aims to provide education and essential resources for agricultural professionals, while providing rescue and training equipment for rural fire departments, which are often the first and only line of defense when a trap occurs. Nominations for this year Nominate your Fire Department Contest are open until April 30.

“Nationwide has been deeply rooted in agriculture since the company was founded by the Ohio Farm Bureau, and our commitment to protecting American producers continues to fuel our work today,” said Brad Liggett, President of Agribusiness at Nationwide. “Wheat basket safety week is one of the many efforts we have made to help address the dangers they face. These accidents send shockwaves to rural communities every year, and the reality is that they are often prevented. We are proud to continue to increase Grain Bin Safety Week and bring in new partners in our mission to end this industry problem. ”

This year, Grain Bin Safety Week takes place from February 20 to 26 and has been officially recognized by the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Since launching the Grain Bin Safety advocacy campaign in 2014, Nationwide has provided grain rescue tubes and training for 207 fire departments in 31 states. At least five successful rescues have been made using the resources provided by the program, including a recent July 2021 rescue in northwest Kansas.

Injuries and deaths: amazing facts
⦁ Suffocation due to swallowing or oxygen-deficient atmospheres is the leading cause of death in grain accidents.
⦁ In four seconds, an adult can sink to his knees in flowing grains and cannot be released without help.
⦁ Over 150 grain traps have been recorded in the last five years. It is estimated that another 30% of cases remain unreported.
⦁ In 2020, there were 35 cases of grain capture, resulting in 20 deaths.
Sources: US and United Press International Agriculture Closure Injuries and Deaths Summary 2020

To help prevent further deaths and injuries, Nationwide works with the National Center for Agricultural Safety Education (NECAS) each year to provide safety training. NECAS instructors travel to training locations with state-of-the-art grain capture simulators and rescue tubes. Comprehensive training sessions include classroom education and rescue simulations using capture tools, which are loaded on 20-foot trailers and capable of holding approximately 100 bushels of grain each.

“NECAS is proud to work with Nationwide on its Grain Bin Safety advocacy initiative to share resources and educate farmers about the dangers of entering grain baskets and using a zero-entry mindset whenever it is possible, “said Dan Neenan, director of NECAS. “It is also extremely important that you continue to work hard to get the rural fire departments the equipment and training they need to respond quickly in a deadlock scenario.”

For more information about the program, purpose or nomination process, visit Grain Bin Safety Week website.

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