Farmers discuss grain silo safety - - Jackson, MS

Farmers discuss grain silo safety

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

It only takes a split second for one wrong move at a grain bin to turn into hours of a rescue. A Marshall County man was trapped for four hours inside a silo full of soybeans Wednesday. He was eventually pulled out alive

Farm Bureau Mississippi's senior safety specialist John Hubbard says that situation could have been even worse.

"It has been deadly," Hubbard explained. "We've had individuals killed."

Simulators are often used for safety training. Farmers in some counties have pooled money to buy a grain bin rescue tube.

"It creates a levee around the individual and that way you can get the grain out and get the individual out," described Hubbard.

Holes still have to be cut in the side of the bin to let the grain slowly flow out but a containment system, like the tube, isolates the grain.

"When you pick it up, it's just like shoveling water," said Hubbard. "If you come up there and shovel, every time you take that one shovel out everything else runs in around it."

Farmer Matthew Boyd sees the warning signs every time he's checking on his soybeans.

"Anybody that deals bins, they know that there's a possibility that something could happen with grain flow," said Boyd.

It's dark and dusty inside the silos. So, why would a farmer ever need to go in anyway?

"When they stop up sometimes we have to get them unstopped," explained Boyd.

That's how the problem is created. A vortex forms in the center when the grain is sucked out.

Farm Bureau tells farmers to avoid getting inside the bins. If they must, they should always wear a safety harness and have another person there as a spotter.

Farm Bureau Mississippi has been offering grain bin safety classes for three years now. Hubbard said they have recently received a grant that will allow them to build a simulator for the state. Those typically have to be brought in by a national safety group.

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