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Saving lives with grain bin safety training and equipment
North Dakota Ag Connection - 02/22/2024

February marks a crucial period for farm safety, with North Dakota taking the lead in grain bin safety initiatives. This focus comes in response to the state's high ranking for grain bin entrapments, spotlighting the critical need for improved safety measures.

According to a Purdue University report, North Dakota had the second highest number of grain bin accidents in 2020, with many incidents believed to go unreported.

Angie Johnson, the North Dakota State University Extension farm and ranch safety coordinator, emphasizes the importance of grain condition in preventing entrapments. "The best strategy for preventing grain bin engulfments and entrapments is to ensure the grain is in good condition in the bin," she states, highlighting the critical role of maintenance in safety protocols.

Acknowledging that some situations may still require entering grain bins, Johnson advocates for a "zero entry mindset" and stresses the importance of having proper rescue techniques and tools at hand. She urges volunteer fire departments to seek out training and equipment necessary for grain bin rescues.

Fire departments have access to grants for acquiring grain bin rescue equipment and training, thanks to programs from AgCountry Farm Credit Services and Nationwide Insurance, alongside the National Education Center for Ag Safety. These grants are crucial for equipping first responders with the necessary tools to save lives in rural communities.

For more information on these grant opportunities, interested parties can visit and These resources provide detailed instructions for applying and nominating fire departments for critical safety equipment and training.

NDSU Extension is spearheading a pilot project to unite local fire departments, farmers, and county emergency managers in a collective effort to enhance grain bin safety.

Johnson expresses gratitude towards the volunteer firefighters, paramedics, and first responders dedicated to community safety. "By working together to prevent grain bin entrapments and learn how rescue situations work, we can save lives," she underscores, highlighting the communal responsibility in addressing grain bin safety as a public health issue.

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