Allied Cooperative recently hosted grain bin rescue training at its Adams, Blair, Mauston and Tomah grain facilities. Over 174 emergency rescue team members from fire departments throughout our trade territory gathered for the classroom and hands-on training, which equipped the teams for handling grain bin emergencies.
The training, made possible through a grant from CHS Foundation, provided classroom and hands-on training for rural area emergency response teams throughout central Wisconsin. The fire departments were also presented with coffer dams/bin entrapment equipment and safety kits which included harnesses, life lines, probes and other essential equipment for grain bin rescue operations.
Each year the headlines tell the stories of individuals who lose their lives due to grain bin entrapments. According to the US Department of Labor, in the past 50 years, more than 900 cases of grain engulfment have been reported. In 2005, 74% of entrapments resulted in death. In 2012 the rate of fatalities decreased to 42% due to increased emphasis on safer procedures, first responder training and commercially available grain rescue tubes which were not available until 2008.
“While the fatality rate seems to be trending down, the actual number of entrapments are actually up,” said Dawn Miller, Allied Cooperative Safety & Compliance Manager. “With larger bin sizes and increased yields, it is even more critical for everyone to take all precautions when working in or around grain bins. Allied Cooperative holds safety as our highest value and a top priority. We are concerned about the safety of fellow employees, customers, and community members in the communities in which we operate. Our goal is to take a proactive approach by better preparing and equipping our local emergency rescue teams should they ever receive a call because of an entrapment.”
“We were pleased to work with the CHS Foundation and Outstate Data to provide this training and equipment. Our ultimate goal however, is that the equipment will set idle. Grain bin accidents are avoidable if important safety precautions are followed,” said Miller. “If you must enter a bin remember to lock out equipment, wear the appropriate personal protective equipment, and have another qualified individual outside the bin that can help if you become entrapped. This person should know to call 911 and not to enter the bin. At our grain elevators we follow a permit entry process which includes all necessary procedures and instructions to allow for a safe entry. ”