February 21-27 is grain bin safety week, and the Illinois Department of Agriculture along with the State Fire Marshal wants Illinoisans to be aware of the dangers that grain bins present. According to a Purdue University study, the US had a five-year average of 58 agricultural confined space-related injury and fatality cases documented. In 2019, there were 67 cases documented as opposed to 61 in 2018. Illinois had four cases in 2019 and five in 2018.
Joe Small, with the Department of Agriculture says it only takes a little bit for there to be an issue.
Department of Agriculture Acting Director Jerry Costello says that it is too easy to become complacent dealing with grain bins, and that most people often think that they are too big, strong, and fast to get out of flowing grain.
Small continued by encouraging farmers to check on the quality of the grain.
Fire departments and districts continue to train for these kinds of events so they are ready to assist and grain awareness week is a great time to check to make sure you have protocols in place, and you remain ready to go with training that you need. For more information, and to visit training online, visit the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois at www.gfai.org or the Grain Handling and Safety Council at www.grainsafety.org.