Be aware as you work around grain storage

The coordinator of the Upper Midwest Ag Safety and Health Center says farmers should slow down and be aware when working around grain this spring.

“People are the most important thing.”

Megan Schossow says there have been at least two recent grain bin-related deaths in the Midwest and while farmers know to be cautious working in and around grain bins, other factors can come into play.

“It’s a busy time of the year. There’s a lot of planting activity. We know the weather is a big stressor for farmers and can drive farmers to work long hours. Those kind of conditions can also affect our thinking and decision making.”

Schossow says farmers should prepare for the unexpected to happen in grain bins like out of condition grain and always work in pairs. She says having visual aids for grain bins and lockout tagout kits can also be helpful.

“You have something right in front of you that will physically stop you from powering on an auger in a grain facility and a system that shows someone’s in the grain bin at the moment, especially if there’s multiple people on a farm site.”

She also says posting the address of the grain bin’s location and a list of emergency contact numbers on site can help others contact emergency responders if there’s an accident. Click here for a grain handling safety checklist from UMASH.

Hear the Brownfield’s interview with Schossow.

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