Avoid grain bin entrapment
Last year, more than 30 U.S. farmers died after becoming trapped and suffocating in grain bins. David Dowdy was one of them.
"Please take time to use the safety equipment," says Pam Dowdy, wife of the Stoddard County, Missouri, farmer who lost his life last year when he tried to loosen a layer of crusted grain inside one of his bins. "It is not any good in the back of a pickup or in the toolshed."
Despite quick action by his son Matt after he'd become trapped inside the bin, Dowdy lost his life in what's too common an occurence on grain farms around the country. Even the quickest action after a farmer becomes trapped isn't usually quick enough, says Karen Funkenbusch, University of Missouri agricultural safety specialist.
"Entrapment can happen within an instant," she says. "Research shows you can be completely submerged in about 8 seconds in a typical grain bin operation.
"Because of the tremendous force of flowing grain, you are helpless to escape once you are trapped knee-deep in grain," she adds.