Nationwide launches annual safety contest to prevent grain bin deaths

The Grain Bin Safety Week program has saved lives and provided rescue training to hundreds of first responders across 18 states.

Each year, farmers risk their lives by entering large grain bins to remove clumped or rotting grain while machinery is still running. Much like quicksand, flowing grain can bury a worker within seconds.

Because these accidents have become all too common, Nationwide is launching its fifth annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest in honor of Grain Bin Safety Week. The goal is to prevent injuries by promoting safe bin-entry procedures, such as maintaining quality grain, testing bin atmosphere for toxic gases and wearing proper safety equipment.

This year, Grain Bin Safety Week runs from Feb. 18 – 24. Nominations for the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest are open until April 30.

Since 2014, Nationwide has awarded grain bin rescue tubes and training to 48 fire departments in 18 states, including Ohio.

There were 60 confirmed grain bin entrapments and incidents in other confined spaces on U.S. farms in 2016, according to Purdue University. That’s a 27 percent increase from 2015, and Purdue estimates that an additional 30 percent of cases go unreported each year.

To help prevent further deaths and injuries, Nationwide collaborates each year with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) to provide safety training. The director of NECAS travels to training locations with a state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulator and rescue tube. The comprehensive training sessions include classroom education and a rescue simulation with the entrapment tool, which is loaded onto a 20-foot trailer and able to hold about 100 bushels of grain.

“Nationwide created this program and joined forces with partners across the country to make it happen for a single purpose — to save lives,” said Brad Liggett, president of Nationwide Agribusiness, the No. 1 farm insurer. “We understand the importance of the work that farmers are doing every day, and we will continue to make the rescue tubes and training available as long as these dangers exist.”

Grain Bin Safety Week and the Nominate Your Fire Department Contests are supported by Nationwide and the following partners:

The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety
KC Supply
CHS
Nationwide Land As Your Legacy
Specialty Risk Insurance
KFSA Insurance Agency
David Larson Financial and Insurance Services, Inc.
The Cornerstone Agency Inc.
Liberty Rescue Systems
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Sietsema Farms Feeds
Agri-Business Insurance Services
The Scoular Company
West Side Salvage
NOHR Wortmann Engineering
First Gabrielson Insurance Agency
Oswald Crow Agency
Hawkins Harrison Insurance
Sump Saver
Dysart Agency LLC
Graham Insurance Agency
Cornerstone Insurance Services
Ravenna Feed & Grain

“Grain Bin Safety Week would not happen without the generous support of our sponsors,” Liggett added. “We would like to thank every sponsor for making this week and contest a reality.”

About Nationwide
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.
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