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View from the Cab: Grain safety a must

A grain safety meeting was held at the Asmark Institute in Bloomington last week / CIFN photo.

It’s only appropriate we marked Stand-Up for Grain Safety Week last week before farmers head to the fields for another busy season.

A special event I attended in Bloomington marked the occasion by simulating grain rescue techniques and sharing the dangers associated with grain handling such as engulfment and entrapment. The Asmark Institute Agricenter was the perfect location for the informational meeting.

The Grain Handling Safety Coalition started in 2010 in response to the deaths of two teens and is a volunteer organization.

“The diversity of the Grain Handling and Safety Coalition is its strength,” explained Stan Blunier, GHSC member and owner/manager of Blunier Farms near Forrest.

The group has developed several educational resources and conducted over 14,000 hours of training in-person and through videos and webinars. They often focus on young or inexperienced workers.

“We want to remind all who work with grain that our goal is for you and your employees to take time and participate in safety activities,” Blunier added.

Loren Sweatt, acting assistant secretary of OSHA, works with thousands of professionals dedicated to safety.

“Too many workers are injured or lose their lives in preventable grain engulfments each year,” Sweatt said.

It only takes seconds for flowing grain to bury and suffocate someone. According to Sweatt, one minute is all it takes to change everything. True success is if just one life can be saved to prevent a worker from becoming a statistic.

More on these grain safety efforts can be found at

We finally saw a few spring-like weather days last week with no wind. I saw a few farmers working on field tile and backing equipment out of the shed for another season. The periodic rain put a damper on any fieldwork but that could change quickly.

(The View from the Cab blog is powered by Petersen Motors in Fairbury)

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