Initiated by Nationwide in 2014, Grain Bin Safety Week is an annual campaign recurring the third full week of February to promote grain bin safety on farms and commercial grain-handling facilities. A collaborative effort with industry leaders and agricultural professionals, Grain Bin Safety Week was created to raise awareness about grain bin dangers, provide education and share best safety practices. Together, Nationwide and partners hope to reduce the number of preventable injuries and deaths associated with grain handling and storage.
Timed to bring safety awareness to the dangers of grain bins, a period when many farmers and grain-handling operations are planning for the upcoming season, this weeklong event will highlight a different component of grain bin safety each of the seven days.
This year, Grain Bin Safety Week will be observed Feb. 17-23.
Injuries and fatalities: the startling facts
• It takes only seconds to be completely engulfed in flowing grain or suffocated and overcome by oxygen-deficient atmospheres.
• 24 documented grain entrapments resulted in 14 deaths (58 percent fatality rate) in 2015.
• 38 documented grain entrapments resulted in 18 deaths in 2014 – the highest recorded since 2010.
• In 2010, at least 26 U.S. workers were killed in grain engulfments − the highest fatalities on record.*
Nominate your fire department for a grain bin rescue tube
Grain Bin Safety Week also promotes awareness of life-saving grain extraction methods and procedures that help first responders rescue farmers and other workers who’ve been trapped in grain bins or other storage facilities.
2019 marks the sixth year of Grain Bin Safety Week and the Nominate Your Fire Department Contest. Since its inception, the contest has received nearly 2,000 nominations and has awarded grain rescue tubes and hands-on rescue training to 48 fire departments across 18 states including Ohio. Two of the tubes have been used to save the lives of two farmers. Several states impacted by the risks of grain handling and storage issued proclamations from their elected U.S. representatives to officially recognize Grain Bin Safety Week in their respective states.
Nominations are due April 30, 2019.
Update: Here is the list of winners for 2019. Four departments in Ohio are among the group:
- Greenville Township Emergency Services – Apple Creek
- Hartford Fire Department – Croton
- Wauseon Fire Department – Wauseon
- Barlow Volunteer Fire Department – Vincent
*Source: 2015 Summary of U.S. Agricultural Confined Space-Related Injuries and Fatalities