U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued a proclamation naming February 16-22 as Grain Bin Safety Week. Earlier this week, the Secretary sat down with the Governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, to talk about the importance of grain bin safety on the farm. Governor Noem grew up on a farm in Hamlin County, South Dakota and has a personal connection to farm safety. She has been an advocate for increased grain bin safety efforts for years.
“We hope grain operators, farmers and community leaders will join us in expanding knowledge of safe practices not just during National Grain Bin Safety Week, but year-round,” said Secretary Perdue. “Tragedies like the one Governor Noem’s family experienced happen too frequently and call for greater action, which is why I have signed a proclamation naming February 16-22 Grain Bin Safety Week.”
“I’m grateful for Secretary Perdue’s leadership in highlighting this important issue,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “My life changed forever when we lost my dad in a grain bin accident, and while farmers are often in a hurry to get things done, nothing is worth losing a life. This Grain Bin Safety Week, I want to encourage producers to evaluate safety procedures on their farms and ranches. Slow down and be safe – your family will thank you for it.”
The purpose of Grain Bin Safety Week is to promote education and awareness of hazards and safe work practices in an effort to reduce the number of accidents associated with grain handling and storage. In 2018, there were 30 documented grain entrapment cases with half of those entrapped resulting in a fatality. With the number of accidents increasing, we must intensify efforts to educate farmers.