Higher grain moisture levels call for additional safety measures
One of those promotions includes a focus on the Grain Community Agricultural Rescue Trailer (C.A.R.T.) – Ohio's first grain rescue simulator, which was designed by CFAES students and is used to train first responders, grain industry employees and farm families about the hazards of flowing grain. The Grain CART, which is now being used statewide by the Ohio Fire Academy to train first responders, is also being used in rural communities to raise awareness of grain bin engulfment hazards, Mann said.
"Even experienced growers can find themselves engulfed in grain bins and silos," he said, noting that the two fatalities associated with grain bins and silos this year in Ohio were both males over the age of 65.
"Most growers have probably entered that grain bin many times before but each year is a new product as a result of a new growing season," Mann said. "Even though you've been in that grain bin before doesn't mean that the conditions are similar to those you've encountered before.
"The issue is that when the grain stops flowing, that's the point where people often stop thinking about safety and focus on the need to get the product out. They just don't anticipate how quickly the grain will start flowing."
From 2001-2010, Ohio reported 14 farm-related deaths associated with grain bins and silos, he said.
Some safety tips 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 isn't flowing.
- Never enter a grain bin alone. If entry into the bin is necessary, always have an observer outside the bin, and make sure all augers are turned off. One person is to enter the bin and the other(s) remain outside in case an emergency occurs. Always use a body harness with a lifeline secured to the outside of the bin.
- Don't 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.
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