Grain bin safety

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

While loading out grain this year, make safety your top priority. Avoid entering the grain bin. If grain is crusted or will not flow, first attempt to break up the crusted grain from the outside of the bin using a pole or other apparatus. Be sure to be aware of overhead power lines.

Never enter a bin when there is a possibility of crusted grain collapsing or shifting suddenly. Even burying you up to your knees can trap you and prevent you from escaping the bin without assistance.Never enter a bin while the unloading equipment is running or grain is flowing.

If you must enter the bin you should:

  • Wear a safety harness attached to a properly secured rope.
  • Stay near the outer wall of the bin and keep walking if the grain should start to flow. Get out of the bin quickly if grain begins to flow.
  • Have at least one other person outside the bin who can help if you become entrapped.
  • Grain fines and dust may cause difficulty in breathing. Anyone working in a grain bin should wear an appropriate dust mask or respirator.
  • Shut off the power to augers and fans. Lock out any unloading equipment before you enter a bin to prevent someone from unintentionally starting the equipment while you are in the bin.

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