Grain Bin Safety Week
Farming consistently ranks as one of the most hazardous job occupations and according to the Ohio State University Extension Farm Safety and Health program, on average, 26 Ohio farm workers lose their lives to production agriculture each year.
Grain bins present one of those farm hazards where we occasionally hear tragic stories of lives lost due to grain engulfment or from being overcome from toxic vapors. Flowing grain acts much like quicksand and can rapidly trap or bury a person. Even if a person is not buried or suffocated by the grain, the weight of the grain and its flowing nature make it almost impossible to escape without assistance.
Grain bin safety week is Feb. 21-Feb. 27. Take a moment to review safety tips for working around grain bins and silos. If you have not already done so, take some time to develop an emergency rescue plan in case someone should get trapped in a grain bin. That plan should include: Who do you call in case of emergency? Who are your emergency team members and what are their roles? Is your local emergency response team familiar with your operation?
Some safety tips from the OSU Extension Farm Safety and Health program for growers when 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 is not 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 the grain, as it keeps 95 percent of the dust and other pollutants from the grain from entering into the worker’s lungs.
Do not 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.
Grain Bin Safety Week is an annual campaign from Nationwide Insurance that takes place during the third full week in February. The focus of this campaign is to promote grain bin safety on farms and grain handling facilities. More information can be found on grainbinsafetyweek.com. Materials and information may also be accessed through your local Ohio State University County Extension Office.
IPM Scouting Program Enrollment
Enrollment in the Wayne County Extension integrated pest management (IPM) scouting program is being accepted for the 2021 growing season. The crop scouting involves trained pest management scouts walking grower fields once a week as they scout for problem weeds, insects, and diseases. The scouts provide a written report on crop growth stage along with any potential pest problems. If a pest is at an economic threshold level, recommendations are provided to treat the pest. Crop scouting is available for alfalfa, corn, soybeans, commercial vegetable crops and fruit, as well as short season programs for early or late season greenhouse and high tunnel production.
The IPM scouting program is primarily self-funded. There is a fee to enroll in the program that includes a base fee per farm plus a per acreage charge. There are discounts for large acreages of any single crop. More information about the scouting program, program fees and enrollment forms can be found on the Wayne County Extension website at u.osu.edu/waynecountyipm, or contact the Extension office by phone at 330-264-8722.
Frank Becker is an OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Assistant and IPM Program Coordinator. He may be reached at 330-264-8722.
CFAES provides research and related educational programs to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information, visit cfaesdiversity.osu.edu.