SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA), along with the State Fire Marshal, want Illinois farmers to set aside time to recognize Grain Bin Safety Week, February 21-27.
Based on Purdue University’s 2019 Summary of U.S. Agricultural Confined Space-Related Injuries and Fatalities report, the U.S. had a five-year average of 58 agricultural confined space related injury and fatality (ACSRIF) cases documented. In 2019, there were 67 (38 of 67 were grain entrapments) U.S. ACSRIF cases documented as opposed to 61 (30 of 61 were grain entrapments) in 2018. Illinois contributed four ACSRIF documented cases in 2019 and five cases in 2018.
“It’s easy to become complacent when workers have been in and out of bins for years and never had any problems,” said IDOA Acting Director, Jerry Costello II. “People often think they are big enough, strong enough, or fast enough to get out of flowing grain. Unfortunately, problems can snowball quickly. That’s why it’s important to set aside time to go over safety measures, to prepare farmers for a potential grain bin emergency.”
“Fire departments and districts continue to train so that in the event they must respond to a grain emergency they are ready to aid and assist,” said State Fire Marshal Matt Perez. “It’s important that there are always at least two people working around a grain bin so in case of an emergency a call for assistance can be made quickly. Don’t take any unnecessary risks, always think safety first.”
Farm workers should attend required safety training as a reminder to utilize the best practices while working in and around grain bins. In addition to required training there are several online training resources available:
• The Grain and Feed Association of Illinois at: www.gfai.org
• The Grain Handling and Safety Council at: www.grainsafety.org
• University of Illinois Extension at: https://web.extension.illinois.edu/agsafety/equipment/grainbinsafety.cfm
— Illinois Department of Agriculture
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