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Tips for grain bin safety

The health and safety manager at CHS said there are a few ways producers can practice safety when in grain bins. Matt Surdick tells Brownfield while the safest action is to take care of issues outside of the bin…

“If you are going into the bin then make sure you are taking the extra precautions of locking out the equipment; deenergizing that auger, that conveyer belt,” he said. “Making sure that it’s locked so it doesn’t get accidentally turned back on. [And] having another person there with you.”

He said the biggest risk is when farmers work in grain bins alone. Surdick said it can take as little as 20 seconds to be engulfed by grain.

“I’ve talked to a person that has been engulfed in grain and the comment I got was is ‘I couldn’t believe how quickly it happened’,” he said. “You know, we look at how quickly grain moves, and it is like quicksand.”

He said farmers should talk to their local cooperatives for safety advice and recommendations for equipment like harnesses. Brownfield spoke with Surdick at the National Association of Farm Broadcaster’s virtual convention.

Amie Simpson contributed to this article.

Matt Surdick Interview

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