Farm safety: Grain storage and transport

As we wrap up National Farm Safety and Health Week, Steve Engleking, Agriculture and natural resources educator, Purdue Extension — LaGrange County, addresses grain entrapment and engulfment prevention measures.

Whats the difference between grain entrapment and grain engulfment?

An entrapment occurs when an individual becomes buried in grain to a point where her can no longer get himself out. Engulfment occurs when an individual is completely submerged underneath the grain. Both are life-threatening.

What are some of the most effective ways to prevent grain-related entrapments and engulfments?

  • Never enter a storage structure while it's being unloaded
  • Always have an outside observer. Never enter alone.
  • Use lockout or tag out procedures so that unloading equipments is not accidentally turned on while someone is inside.
  • Post warning about the potential for engulfment at all entryways.
  • Always have access to a radio or cell phone.
  • Don't let visitors, children, family members, or non-essential employees near grain storage structures, open piles of grain, or grain transport vehicles.
  • Do not count on a safety line hanging from the center of the storage structure to provide protection. Entrapment can happen so quickly it's unlikely the person working inside the bin will have time to grab it. 
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