State Representative Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City) is helping to remind farmers and elevator operators about grain bin safety. To date this year there have been eleven incidents reported in Illinois with four fatalities. According to the Agriculture Program Manager of the Illinois Fire Service Institute, Dave Newcomb in a recent report, there were three deaths in Illinois related to grain bin incidents in 2019.
“We need to continually be safe around farm equipment and working around grain bins,” said Rep. Wilhour, who is a business owner and farmer as well. “Grain bin incidents are also dangerous for first responders such as fire departments that provide grain bin rescue response.”
Wet grain tends to clump and not flow properly through the unloading systems, workers may need to enter the bins to rectify the situation. Corn in bad condition often leads to more grain bin accidents. Grain bin tragedies can literally happen in seconds. A worker standing on moving grain could be trapped within just five seconds and completely covered in grain within less than thirty seconds.
If you must enter the bin, as a farm owner or operator, some of the safety guidelines to remember include things like breaking up crusted grain from the outside with a long pole and wearing a secured harness in case there is a sudden flow of grain. One of the most important measures is to turn off and lock out all powered equipment to the grain bin and tag it to remain off. This is known as ‘Lock Out’ or ‘Tag Out.’
For more information about grain bin safety suggestions, you can go online to the University of Illinois Extension page at: