March 25, 2013

Free Farm Safety Clinics Focus on Grain Handling

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The grain that Nebraska farmers grow can turn deadly in an instant. Grain entrapments kill or injure dozens of people each year, so it's important for farmers and others who handle grain to learn how to safely manage themselves and their operations.

A series of free farm safety clinics focused on grain handling safety are being held this week, hosted by the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Nebraska Corn Board and GSI. Each clinic will include training in confined space safety, flowing grain safety, rope and harness techniques and hands-only CPR.

The schedule of free farm safety clinics is as follows:

Tuesday, March 26: Kearney Held at and sponsored by M&N Millwright at 8050 East Highway 30.

Wednesday, March 27: Crete Held at the Saline County Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall and sponsored by Northern Agri Services.

Thursday, March 28: Norfolk Held at the Ag Complex at Northeast Community College and sponsored by Peterson Ag Systems, Inc.

The training runs from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day. A complementary lunch is included. Training is being provided by the Safety and Technical Rescue Association (SATRA) and the American Red Cross. For more information, visit necga.org.

"These are potentially life-saving procedures that every farmer—and every person who handles grain in a farm operation—should know," said Joel Grams of Minden, president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association. "With just one misstep or just a moment of distraction, you could find yourself or someone you know in a grain entrapment emergency. This free safety training will help farmers and others learn how to avoid a life-threatening situation—and how to respond if one occurs."

According to the Agricultural Safety & Health program at Purdue University, the five-year average of reported grain entrapment incidents—both non-fatal and fatal—is just over 36 per year. While the total number in 2011 was lower than in previous years, the five-year average has remained at 36.6 incidents annually. Purdue researchers believe the actual number could be as much as 30 percent higher if all incidents were reported.

The average age of a person involved in a grain entrapment is 41 years old—and there is a trend toward more owners, operators and managers being involved in entrapments.

Other blogs on grain bin safety:

Farmers urged to take precautions when unloading grain bins
Farmers encouraged to focus on safety around grain bins
Podcast: Farmers urged to be safe while cleaning out grain bins

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