Though the hazards of entering a grain bin are well-known, farmers and agricultural professionals often underestimate them until it’s too late. According to researchers at Purdue University, more than 900 cases of grain engulfment have been reported in the past 50 years with a fatality rate of 62%. In 2020, grain entrapments led to 20 deaths.
“It only takes seconds, or a simple mistake, for an adult to sink in the quicksand-like flow of grain and become fully entrapped or engulfed,” said Brad Liggett, Nationwide’s president of Agribusiness. “Adding to the risk is a lack of rescue equipment available to local fire departments and emergency responders who are called for help when a worker becomes trapped.”
Nationwide, the country’s leading insurer of farms and ranches¹, is taking steps to help prevent grain entrapment deaths in rural America with its annual Grain Bin Safety advocacy campaign. Nationwide, in partnership with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), awarded 48 fire departments across the country, including three Ohio fire departments, with life-saving grain rescue tubes and hands-on training to prepare them to respond when entrapments occur.
In Ohio, the following fire departments were announced as recipients for 2021:
- Clinton-Warren Joint Fire District in Clarksville
- Jerome Township Division of Fire in Plain City
- Ripley Fire Department in Ripley
NECAS, based out of Peosta, Iowa, will deliver the rescue tubes and training to the winning fire departments throughout 2021, traveling to each location with state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulators and rescue tubes. The comprehensive training sessions include classroom education and rescue simulations using the entrapment tools, which are loaded onto 20-foot trailers and able to hold about 100 bushels of grain each.
Ohio Farm Bureau is proud to be a supporter of the Grain Bin Safety campaign. With 2021 donations included, Nationwide and partners have supplied these resources to 200 departments across 30 states. At least four fire departments have utilized their rescue tubes and training to successfully rescue entrapped workers.
“With long-standing roots in agriculture, we’re thankful for the work America’s farmers do and for the contributions of our valuable partners who help us make a difference in rural communities,” Liggett said.
“We appreciate this ongoing commitment to the importance of grain bin safety from our biggest and best partner, Nationwide,” said Michael Bailey, vice president of strategic partnerships for Ohio Farm Bureau. “The life-saving tools and training that local fire departments receive through this program helps ensure they are best equipped to protect farmers in their communities.”
Caption: The Berlin Township Fire Department was awarded a grain bin rescue tube and training through Nationwide’s Grain Bin Safety campaign’s Nominate My
Fire Department contest in 2020. The department recently received the training in Erie County.