Ag Safety Awareness Program Week is March 5-11, with the theme of Get Out of My Space. Each day has its own program, and Monday was about confined spaces. This includes grain bins, manure pits, and other potential dangers on the farm. For grain bins, Dave Newcomb with the Illinois Fire Service Institute says to stay out of bins unless it’s absolutely necessary. He says if you must go in, be sure to first shut off all equipment and then use a lock-out tag-out system to alert others you’ve entered a bin. 54-percent of grain bin entrapments are fatal. Newcomb says there is a protective system that can be worn when entering a bin.
Bin safety is also important for the family member who discovers the entrapment. Newcomb says 60-percent of victims are would-be rescuers.
Newcomb adds that many rural fire departments need more volunteers to help service communities, and many departments don’t have members with farm experience, increasing the need for training.