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Illinois Dept. of Agriculture advocates for grain bin safety

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TREMONT (WEEK) - It can be easy for farmers to become too comfortable when working in and around grain bins, but that can lead to a dangerous situation.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture, along with the state fire marshal, want Illinois farmers to set aside time to recognize grain bin safety week.
They've dedicated February 21 through the 27 to do just that.

According to a 2019 report from Purdue University, the US had a five-year average of 58 agricultural confined space related injury and fatality cases documented.

"The first thing with grain bin safey is try to avoid going in the bin to begin with," General Manager at Tremont Coop Grain, Joe Logsdon said.

Logsdon says every new employee must go through a two day training course to learn about grain bin safety and prevent any accidents from happening in the future.

"When you can keep grain quality that is going to prevent you from having to go into the bin and do anything to have to unclog bins," Logsdon said.

Logsdon says if you have to go into a bin, it's most likely because it got too hot and the grain begins to clump. He suggests keeping an eye on your grain quality so you can prevent yourself from having to go in the bin at all. However, if someone does get trapped in a grain bin, Logsdon says first responders will use what's called a rescue tube to try and get them out.

"It's made up of four to five sections that would be 6 to 7 feet tall, and they push down around the body if you do get engulfed, say up to your chest, they enclose you and then they pull the grain out of the center of it and then they can pull the individual out," Logsdon said.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture says people often think they are strong enough or fast enough to get out of flowing grain. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. That's why they are stressing to set aside time to go over safety measures, to prepare farmers for a potential grain bin emergency.

Fire departments and districts continue to train so that in the event they must respond to a grain emergency they are ready to aid and assist.

Gabi Guerrero

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