Mandan News

Trapped in grain

NDSU Extension Agency
By Jackie Buckley

Dates to remember
Feb. 28 – Private Pesticide Certification, Morton County Fairgrounds, New Salem, 1:00 p.m.
Feb. 28 – Morton County Barley Council Election, Morton County Fairgrounds, New Salem, 1:00 p.m.
Mar. 1 – West River 4-H/FFA Livestock/Crops/Hippology Judging Contest, Beulah
Mar. 3 – Morton County Private Fumigation Training, Morton County Fairgrounds, New Salem, 1:00 p.m.

Fumigation Training Scheduled
The Morton County Extension Service will be conducting Private Fumigation Training on Monday, March 3, starting at 1 p.m. at the Morton County Fairgrounds in New Salem. Producers whose certification expires on April 1, 2014, received a letter from us in the mail notifying them of the training. If you currently do not have a fumigation license and anticipate that that you may have to use Phostoxin to fumigate a grain bin, you are encouraged to attend this training. If you are certifying for the first time, you will have to take the 80 question test in order to get your license. You must have a private general pesticide license to receive you fumigation license.

Stored Grain Poses Danger
Anyone working around grain bins needs to be aware of the dangers of stored grain, North Dakota State University Extension Service agricultural engineer Ken Hellevang warns. Corn and sunflowers went into winter storage a lot wetter than normal. People can become trapped in three ways: flowing grain, the collapse of a vertical wall of grain and the collapse of bridged grain.
Here are some tips to keep you safe:
* Never enter a bin while unloading grain or to break up a grain bridge. A wall of grain can collapse without warning and cover a person. Flowing grain will pull a person into the grain mass, burying the individual in a few seconds.
* Stay outside the bin and use a pole or other object to break bridged grain loose. Attach the pole or other object to the bin with a rope so you can retrieve the pole or other object if you drop it.
* Do not unload grain from an opening in the grain bin door or the sump on the side of the grain bin. Unloading grain from the side can damage the bin and cause it to collapse.
* Never enter a grain bin without stopping the auger and using the “lock-out /tag-out” procedures to secure it. Use a key-type padlock to lock the auger switch in the “off” position.
* Never enter a grain bin alone. Have at least two people at the bin to assist in case of problems. Use a safety harness or line when entering a bin.

Here is what to do if someone gets trapped:
* Shut off all grain-moving machinery to stop the flow of grain.
* Contact your local emergency rescue service or fire department.
* Ventilate the bin using the fan.
* Form retaining walls around the person with plywood, sheet metal or other material to keep grain from flowing toward the person, then remove grain from around the individual.
* Cut holes in the bin’s sides to remove grain if the person is submerged. Use a cutting torch, metal-cutting power saw or air chisel to cut at least two V- or U-shaped holes on opposite sides or more holes equally spaced around the bin. A bucket on a tractor also can open holes rapidly. Grain flowing from just one hole may injure the trapped person and cause the bin to collapse.