on Monday, February 17, 2020
Feb. 16-22 has been designated Grain Bin Safety Week by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to promote education and awareness of hazards and safe work practices in an effort to reduce the number of accidents associated with grain handling and storage.
According to a proclamation issued by Perdue, there were 30 documented grain entrapment cases in 2018 nationally, with half of those entrapped resulting in a fatality in 2018.
That’s down slightly from 2014 figures when there were 38 documented entrapments, resulting in 17 fatalities. With the number of accidents Perdue said efforts to educate farmers must intensify.
“We hope grain operators, farmers and community leaders will join us in expanding knowledge of safe practices not just during National Grain Bin Safety Week, but year-round,” said Perdue who sat down with South Dakota Governor, Kristi Noem, to discuss the importance of grain bin safety (see video below).
For Noem, who grew up on a farm in Hamlin County, South Dakota, grain bin safety carries a costly personal connection. She lost her father to a grain bin entrapment in 1994 — she’s been a staunch advocate for increased grain bin safety efforts ever since.
“My life changed forever when we lost my dad in a grain bin accident, and while farmers are often in a hurry to get things done, nothing is worth losing a life,” Noem said. “I’m grateful for Secretary Perdue’s leadership in highlighting this important issue.
“This Grain Bin Safety Week, I want to encourage producers to evaluate safety procedures on their farms,” Noem continued. “Slow down and be safe – your family will thank you for it.”