Grain Bin Safety Week Sessions Set

   University of Missouri Extension has teamed up with Nationwide Agribusiness to provide training during National Grain Bin Safety Week, Feb. 23-March 1.
   Like quicksand, flowing grain will bury the average person in less than a minute. A record number of U.S. workers were killed in 2010 in preventable grain bin accidents, says University of Missouri Extension safety specialist Karen Funkenbusch.
   The timing of the weeklong educational event is especially important this year because freezing temperatures have formed top crusts in grain. This creates the illusion of a stable area that can be walked upon, said Frank Wideman, MU Extension natural resource engineer. When the crust breaks, moving grain quickly swallows up victims and suffocates them.
   “There is nothing to hang on to,” Funkenbusch said. It’s also difficult to pull someone from a grain bin. It takes more than 325 pounds of force to pull a 165-pound person out of the grain.
   Grain Bin Safety Week falls during February, when many farmers sell grain to make room for the 2014 harvest.
   MU Extension is a new partner with Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Company, Farm Safety for Just Kids, Iowa FFA Foundation, the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) and others to provide seven days of training.
   The highlight of the training will be held 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, at the FFA Enrichment Center adjoining the Des Moines Area Community College, 1055 SW Prairie Trail Parkway, Ankeny, Iowa. Numerous learning opportunities include simulators on grain bin entrapment and manure pits, sessions on implement and driver safety, anhydrous ammonia safe-handling procedures, and demonstrations on grain dust explosion and auger safety.
   Bill Chisel, safety director of Heartland Co-op of West Des Moines, Iowa, will speak on what could have been done to prevent the 2011 grain entrapment of a Heartland employee and describe changes the co-op has implemented.
   A free lunch, snacks and beverages are available at the Monday session. Sign up at or email your contact information to
   Other events during the week include #AgChat on Twitter, 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Go to
   There will be a free webinar on grain bin safety on Feb. 26. Reserve a spot at
   Additionally, Nationwide Agribusiness and NECAS seek nominations for fire department and emergency rescue squads to receive a free bin rescue tube, valued at $2,600, and training. Information is available at∆
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