COLUMBUS—Every year, thousands of workers in the agricultural industry are exposed to life-threatening hazards associated with entering grain bins. While working to perform maintenance or to free a blockage, the materials beneath farmers’ feet can shift in the blink of an eye and entrap them with quicksand-like suction, leaving them unable to free themselves without outside help. While these hazards are well-known within the industry, the risks are often underestimated until it’s too late.
In an effort to make entering a grain bin safer, the Ashland, Holmes, Medina, and Wayne County Farm Bureaus partnered to create the Safe Farms Facility.
This facility, located in Apple Creek at the Wayne County Regional Training Facility, is the first of its kind in Ohio and trains first responders from across a six-state area. Trainings offered include entrapment awareness and bin operations, confined space safety, and techniques related to rope rescue, high angle rescue and electrical emergencies.
Bringing the Safe Farms Facility online has been a top priority of local bureaus for years, and it will now serve as a valuable grain safety training tool for years to come. The efforts by local bureaus to complete the facility did not go unnoticed, and the bureaus were recently awarded 1 of 24 National “County Activities of Excellence” Awards at the 2020 American Farm Bureau Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show, which took place in Austin, Texas this past January.
“Thank you to our local farm bureaus for all the work they do to ensure the safety of those working in agriculture” said Roegner.
To honor local bureaus for their efforts to protect farmers and on earning a “County Activities of Excellence” award, Senator Roegner recently introduced SR468, joint sponsored by President Obhof and Senator Hottinger, announcing it in conjunction with “National Grain Bin Safety Week”, which runs from February 16th-22nd.
“National Grain Bin Safety Week” is a yearly event, which is timed to bring about safety awareness during a period when many farmers and grain-handling operations are planning for the upcoming season. This weeklong event is a collaborative effort between government and industry leaders, along with agricultural professionals.
“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 Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.