Grain Bin Safety - It may save a life

Feb 04, 2020

Dennis Inman, VP of Grain

I follow lots of different social media platforms, and it seems like this week, there were multiple new stories each day, about quality, condition, and spoilage with this year’s crop. Sadly, there are also all too frequent stories about grain elevator workers and farmers becoming engulfed in grain bins. The outcome is often a fatality from what is a very preventable incident. 
Early in my career, I worked with a manager who taught me that grain's purpose in life was to spoil. From the time it’s harvested to the time it's consumed; it only gets worse never gets better. So, while that’s true every year, the late-planted and immature harvested crop this year has resulted in a shorter shelf life than most years.  
There is a strong correlation between out of condition grain and grain bin engulfment. Simply put, poor quality grain with condition problems is much more likely to bridge up, plug sumps, and otherwise create reasons to do something out of the ordinary to keep grain flowing. What makes incidents preventable is not allowing the out of the ordinary to be a reason for taking a shortcut.

The graphic below was also posted on social media this week. It’s a good, simple illustration of what some of the hazards of grain bin entry are, and you can see how quality issues can create all the right circumstances to create those hazards.
Please take this task seriously. It might save a life.

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