Farming has long been ranked among the most dangerous occupational fields and poses a number of risks to farmers and their workers, including tractor rollovers, injuries from heavy animals, and electrocution—in fact, around 60 farmers die every year from accidents based in electrocution alone. One industry partner is striving to make the rescue process for farming workplace accidents safer for workers and firefighters alike. 

The Homer City Volunteer Fire Department is gathering community support in an effort to bring a newly developed farm rescue tool to the area. They will likely be among hundreds of fire companies asking Nationwide Agribusiness (the farm division of Nationwide Insurance) to provide a grain bin rescue tube and training program for their department at no charge. The new equipment in question is a piece of equipment designed to help free farm workers who become engulfed in containers of shifting grain—from silos to bins to boxes to trucks and so on. The training focuses on safety measures for firefighters during these rescues.

Accidents involving grain storage are daily risks and definitely not unheard of in Indiana. Grain bin rescue tubes are shown in many training videos across the web—firefighters assemble a set of interlocking panels in the shape of a tube to halt the flow of grain around the trapped worker and keep them from being buried. The rescuers then run an enclosed auger to pull grain out of the tube and free the victim. The cost of this tube ranges between $3,000 and $5,000 and the six-hour on-site training is valued at up to $5,000, according to Nationwide’s website.

Homer City VFD President Dan Bekina asked the city council for a letter of support for their fire department’s application for the equipment and training. Council members unanimously voted to send a letter to Nationwide Agribusiness that endorses the fire department’s request. The Indiana County Farm Bureau has also begun an active appeal for local fire departments to apply to Nationwide for a grain bin rescue tube. Entries should describe how a fire company or emergency rescue team and community would benefit from and share with others the rescue equipment and specialized training being offered. The deadline to apply online, by email at agcontest@nicc.edu, or by postal mail is May 31, 2017. Winners will be announced in early 2018.

NECAS, Grain Bin Safety Ag Contest
8342 NICC Drive
Peosta, IA 52068 

As personal injury attorneys in Indiana, it gives us great pride to see volunteers and dedicated citizens making strides to ensure safety in the farming industry. We know workplace injuries are common, which is why we make every effort to step in and provide support when they arise. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an injury in the farming industry, or any work environment, and you have interest in filing a claim, contact us today.

Source: Indiana Gazette 

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