One life lost is too many. That idea is the driving force behind Nationwide’s Grain Bin Safety Week program and Think Grain Bin Safety campaign, and that’s why CHS is proud to partner with Nationwide in raising grain bin safety awareness. But for Nationwide, it’s way more than just a campaign.
Zero lives lost: That’s the goal of Nationwide’s Grain Bin Safety Week program (Feb. 20-26) and Think Grain Bin Safety campaign. They reflect Nationwide’s passion for agriculture and leadership position as the nation’s number-one farm insurer.
With the Think Grain Bin Safety campaign and Grain Bin Safety Week program, we’re raising the bar for safety action and awareness this year. And CHS members and leaders can support the effort through financial contributions and community involvement.
“Grain bin safety is a lot more than just a campaign to us at Nationwide,” said Nationwide Agribusiness President Brad Liggett. “It’s something we’re passionate about year-round, and part of our commitment to the health, safety and success of our farm customers.”
Why grain bin safety outreach is so important
The ninth annual Grain Bin Safety Week program kicked off January 1 and runs through the end of April. It culminates with a contest in late April that awards nominated rural fire departments with grain rescue tubes and training.
Since 2007, there have been more than 475 documented grain bin entrapments in the U.S. Since its inception, the Grain Bin Safety Week program has awarded 207 rescue tubes in 31 states. The program has helped save five lives that would have been lost without the vital equipment and training.
While the distribution of rescue tubes is a key part of the program, Nationwide leads the effort to promote awareness to prevent grain bin entry and entrapments altogether.
3 reasons to lead grain bin safety efforts in your community
Grain Bin Safety Week and the Think Grain Bin Safety campaign depend on local community involvement. Beyond raising general awareness, there are three main reasons for CHS members to get involved:
Avoid grain bin entry. Create a “zero lives lost” mentality by prioritizing safety whenever working in or around grain bins or preventing bin entry whenever possible.
Become a grain bin safety advocate. Share critical grain bin safety information with friends, family and community members.
Prepare first responders. Nominate your local fire department to receive a grain rescue tube and necessary training as part of the Grain Bin Safety Week contest.
“We don’t want to just talk about grain bin safety. We want to raise awareness about how to save lives and equip our rural communities with the tools and training they need to make it happen,” Liggett said. “Grain bin safety is so important to us at Nationwide because we recognize the extreme hazards of working in grain bins. And we want to ensure our customers and all farmers are safe and return home at the end of every day working on the farm.”
How to get started
Start raising grain bin safety awareness in your community at Thinkgrainbinsafety.com. There, you’ll find articles, videos and other tools and resources to start the conversation with customers, other farmers and members of your community.
Grain Bin Safety Week is Feb. 20 – 26, 2022; Since 2014, Nationwide has supplied 207 grain rescue tubes and training to fire departments across 31 states.
For rural Americans, seeing grain bins dot the landscape is often an everyday occurrence. However, these storage structures pose very serious and threatening dangers to agriculture workers if proper health and safety procedures aren’t followed. In just 20 seconds, a farmer can sink in the quicksand-like flow of grain and become fully entrapped with little hope for survival. Such accidents have resulted in 81 deaths over the past five years.
The annual advocacy campaign aims to deliver critical education and resources to agricultural professionals while also supplying life-saving rescue equipment and training to rural fire departments, who are often the first and only line of defense when an entrapment occurs. Nominations for this year’s Nominate Your Fire Department Contest are open until April 30.
”Nationwide has been deeply rooted in agriculture since the company’s founding by the Ohio Farm Bureau and our commitment to protecting America’s producers continues to fuel our work today,” said Brad Liggett, president of Agribusiness at Nationwide. “Grain Bin Safety Week is one of many efforts in place to help address the dangers they face. These accidents send shockwaves through rural communities each year, and the reality is, they are often preventable. We are proud to continue to grow Grain Bin Safety Week and bring on new partners in our mission to end this industry issue.”
This year, Grain Bin Safety Week runs from Feb. 20 – 26 and has been officially recognized by the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Since initiating its Grain Bin Safety advocacy campaign in 2014, Nationwide has supplied grain rescue tubes and training to 207 fire departments in 31 states. At least five successful rescues have taken place using the resources provided through the program, including a recent July 2021 rescue in northwest Kansas.
Injuries & Fatalities: The Startling Facts
Suffocation from engulfment or oxygen-deficient atmospheres is the leading cause of death in grain accidents.
In four seconds, an adult can sink knee-deep in flowing grain and be rendered unable to free themselves without help.
More than 150 grain entrapments have been recorded in the past five years. It’s estimated an additional 30% of cases go unreported.
In 2020, there were 35 grain entrapment cases resulting in 20 fatalities.
Sources: 2020 Summary of U.S. Agricultural Confined Space-Related Injuries and Fatalities and United Press International
To help prevent further deaths and injuries, Nationwide collaborates each year with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) to provide safety training. NECAS instructors travel to training locations 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.
“NECAS is proud to partner with Nationwide on its Grain Bin Safety advocacy initiative to share resources and education with farmers about the hazards of entering grain bins and employing a zero-entry mentality whenever possible,” said Dan Neenan, director at NECAS. “It’s also critically important to continue the hard work in getting rural fire departments the equipment and training they need to respond quickly in an entrapment scenario.”
The interior of a grain bin is one of the most hazardous places on a farm, so the best way to resolve situations with stored grain is safely outside. If you must enter a bin, be sure to know what you might find and plan accordingly.
Grain bins can be dangerous places. Purdue University researchers report that bin-related injuries such as entrapments, equipment entanglements and asphyxia are on the rise – more than 60 incidents occurred in the U.S. in 2018.
As part of our commitment to safety as a core value, CHS is partnering with other ag industry leaders to support Grain Bin Safety Week, Feb. 16-22. Here are the top three things you can do to promote safe practices around grain bins: