ByCynthia Voelkl/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Wet and cold weather in 2019 have created a dangerous situation this year for South Dakota farmers who store grain in bins, heightening a risk of entrapment or death that has existed on farms for generations.
The number of reported grain entrapments across the country rose by 27% from 2018 to 2019, and deaths rose by 53% that year.
Grain bins, a common sight for anyone traveling through Iowa and other corn belt states, are a source of contention for agriculture safety specialists. Lack of research means specialists are unable to provide consistent advice to farmers about working in the storage bins. The safety experts are “dropping the ball,” said LaMar Grafft, a rural health and safety specialist.
On Sept. 17, 2013, Danville firefighters spent the day training for grain-bin rescues. Dave Newcomb, the agriculture rescue program manager for the Illinois Fire Service Institute, taught the intensive, eight-hour training course. The course included sessions on using grain-bin rescue tubes, sawing through grain-bins and evaluating grain hazards.
ByDarrell Hoemann/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
As harvest season approaches, rescue workers prepare themselves for the possibility of grain-bin entrapments. On Sept. 17, 2013, the Illinois Fire Service Institute and the Danville Fire Department met at a Bunge Milling facility for grain-bin rescue training. Dave Newcomb, agriculture rescue program manager for the institute, was the main instructor. In this video, he describes what happens during training.