The Single Most Important Way to Keep Farm Workers Safe in Central Minnesota

Farming is one of the most dangerous professions in the USA today.

Farmers are twice as likely to die on the job as police officers. They are five times more likely to die on the job than firefighters. They are 73 times more likely to suffer a job-related injury than bankers. And the single biggest hazard on farms in central Minnesota is grain bin accidents.

During harvest time, farm workers work fast. They recognize that failing to get the crop in the bin in time can result in huge losses, especially when winter comes early. Conscientious farm workers sacrifice their breaks and forget safety procedures, sometimes with tragic results. 

Since 1975, there have been 900 cases of grain engulfment in the United States, 558 of them resulting in a fatality. The average age of workers trapped in grain bins is 22. Sadly, this kind of accident is almost entirely preventable. Here’s what Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc. in Little Falls, MN recommends to prevent it.

  • Ensure no one is working on top of the grain before activating the auger at the bottom of the bin. The auger can create a vacuum from which it is impossible to escape.
  • When grain stinks, stay away from it. Spoiled grain releases foul-smelling gasses. These gasses can accumulate just beneath what appears to be a solid surface. Never step into a grain bin if the grain smells terrible.
  • Take care when cleaning the inside of a silo. Loosening spoiled grain can trigger an avalanche of spoiled and fresh grain on workers below.

Take time to be safe! Make sure no worker enters a grain bin without a permit. Make sure every worker—as well as the owner—wears a safety harness before working on top of the grain. Turn off and lock the controls of the auger before entering the bin. Test for toxic gasses. Never walk down grain.

Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc. in Little Falls, MN represents over 60 insurance companies. We help farmers find the coverage they need at an affordable price. Email an agent for more information today!