LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska farmers continue to produce more bushels of crop per acre with less resources. The result of this increased efficiency is more on-farm grain storage. In turn, this leaves a bigger risk of fatal accidents associated with grain handling and bin storage. Nebraska Corn encourages farmers to focus on hazards found in grain handling and storage environments during “Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week.” The 2023 theme is “Small Changes, BIG Impact!”
“Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week” takes place Mar. 27 – 31 and is organized through an alliance between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Grain and Feed Association, the Grain Elevator and Processing Society and the Grain Handling Safety Council.
Every year hundreds of employees or farmers are injured or die from preventable hazards while working in grain handling and storage. “Stand Up 4 Grain Safety Week” encourages facilities and individuals to commit to safety in the workplace or learn how tasks are performed to create positive safety impacts.
There are many hazards that workers are exposed to when working in the grain handling industry. One of the biggest hazards includes suffocation from engulfment. However, with proper safety procedures, grain bin accidents are preventable. Here are seven steps to grain safety tips to keep in mind, remembering to only enter grain bins when absolutely necessary:
- Turn off and lockout equipment before entering bins or performing maintenance
- Never walk down grain to make it flow
- Place a trained observer outside of the bin in case of an emergency
- Test the air in the bin before entering
- Control the accumulation of grain dust through housekeeping
- Do not enter a bin where grain is built up on the side
- Use a safety harness and anchored lifeline when entering a bin
Nebraska Corn will be sharing grain bin safety tips from their social media channels. More information can also be found at standup4grainsafety.org.
The Nebraska Corn Board is funded through a producer checkoff investment of ½-cent-per-bushel checkoff on all corn marketed in the state and is managed by nine farmer directors. The mission of the Nebraska Corn Board is to promote the value of corn by creating opportunities.
The Nebraska Corn Growers Association (NeCGA) is a grassroots commodity organization that works to enhance the profitability of corn producers. NeCGA has more than 2,500 dues-paying members in Nebraska. NeCGA is affiliated with the National Corn Growers Association, which has more than 40,000 dues-paying members nationwide.
— Nebraska Corn Board