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Grain Bin Safety: Promoting a Safer American Agriculture

Caution and safety around grain mills and grain production facilities cannot be stressed enough. Each year, lives are lost - usually because of a small misstep leading to a preventable accident - at grain handling and processing plants all around the United States.


  1. Back in 2012, a frequently cited Yahoo story emerged that ranked some of the most dangerous work environments in the United States. 

    While industries like mining and logging might not have seemed so surprising to have made the list,  it might come as a surprise to many to find farming and agriculture made the list.
  2.                                          VIBCO Agriculture and Grain     VIBCO Material Handling
  3. As it turns out, farming and agriculture are in fact very dangerous industries to work in. Long hours combined with constant interaction with heavy duty, high powered equipment are among the leading factors behind deaths in the agriculture industry. But one cause of injury and preventable death is something that many might not have ever had thought could be a cause of death: grain bins and grain silos.

    Headlines are made each time an injury or death occurs involving grain. Take a look at some of the coverage below. You should notice one word appearing over and over again in these headlines:
  4. Accident. Accidental death is the leading type of death in grain handling facilities and the accident is usually a result of suffocation

    As OSHA explains:

    "Suffocation is a leading cause of death in grain storage bins. In 2010, 51 workers were engulfed by grain stored in bins, and 26 died-the highest number on record, according to a report issued by Purdue University (PDF). Suffocation can occur when a worker becomes buried (engulfed) by grain as they walk on moving grain or attempt to clear grain built up on the inside of a bin. Moving grain acts like "quicksand" and can bury a worker in seconds. "Bridged" grain and vertical piles of stored grain can also collapse unexpectedly if a worker stands on or near it. The behavior and weight of the grain make it extremely difficult for a worker to get out of it without assistance.

    As the picture above shows, suffocation is near instant, taking only 25 second to be completely sunk into the grain.
  5. Extensive measures and safety bulletins have been created over the years to address this issue. 

    Industry publications, organizations and even businesses not necessarily directly affiliated with grain are doing their part ot promote safety in this notoriously hazardous workplace.  Corn and Soybean Digest published 7 Tips for Grain Bin Safety. The National Grain and Feed Association even hold their own conferences focused entirely on safety in grain manufacturing and how to combat preventable, accidental deaths. 

    Even entire websites including exist for the sole purpose of promoting awareness for this problem and major businesses including NationWide Insurance have devoted portions of their website to grain handling safety.
  6. VIBCO is doing our part in grain safety. Many of the people we work with and interact with are in the grain industry and we've been doing our part to promote a safer work environment in the grain and agriculture sector. Safe work environments and common sense actions taken to achieve these environments are something that have a profound impact both on companies, workers and the families and friends of those in these places .  
  7. VIBCO Vibrators Supports Grain Bin Safety Efforts
  8. By doing our part, VIBCO Vibrators' goal is to help develop smart, safe grain handling facilities. The mission is as simple as that. Lives are too valuable and to go to work knowing that a simple misstep could cost a life is a harrowing thought for anyone and everyone.
  9.                                          VIBCO Agriculture and Grain     VIBCO Material Handling