Ag-agencies push for grain bin safety education - Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Ag-agencies push for grain bin safety education

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Farming can be a dangerous job, so Nebraska agriculture groups are trying to educate people about the hazards. 

Grain bins can be extremely dangerous to farmers and producers if precautionary measures are not followed. 

The Nebraska Corn board and corn growers association are encouraging farmers to slow down when working around the bins. 

Bob Hessler, owner of Safetyline Consultants in Scottsbluff, says his company trains farmers, producers, and emergency crews across the state in how to follow occupational safety and health regulations. 

Hessler says atmospheric gasses and quick-moving parts are two major concerns people should be aware of when working in or around grain bins.

"The biggest problem that happens on grain bin injuries, especially on farm sites, is people will go into grain bins not knowing what the atmospheric conditions are for the oxygen content or the methane or the hydrogen sulfide," Hessler said. "

Grain bins can contain potentially hazardous gasses or unsafe oxygen levels, which can result in suffocation.

Hessler says accidents can also occur when people try to get into grain bins.

"The grain bin may be crested over, and so they get in and start walking on it or they turn the auger on underneath. You have a 2 to 3 second reaction time, and if you don't react in that 2 to 3 seconds of getting out of there, in 4 to 5 seconds youre already sucked down into the grain bin as the auger starts taking the grain out."

Hessler says according to OSHA, a person can be completely engulfed in a grain bin within 22 seconds.

"I think more safety issues are being brought out by the insurance companies and the agricultural companies in promoting farm safety."Its training that starting to educate farming communities more and more in you don't just go into a grain bin to unclog something, you've got to follow the procedures of locking and tagging your energy sources out ant making sure everything is safe before you enter that bin."

Hessler says increased training has helped cut down on the number of grain bin fatalities and engulfments.

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