Ohio State Extension Grain C.A.R.T. Assists with Grain Bin Safety

As we enter harvest season, grain bins throughout the state are beginning to fill up. Now, is the ideal time to revisit grain-bin safety and highlight an innovative training and education program from the Ohio State Extension.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, grain bin entrapment is when a worker enters a bin and is either suffocated by grain or the bin develops hazardous atmospheres.

Entrapment can happen under several scenarios, which includes standing on moving grain causing it to act like quick sand, grain collapsing and engulfing a worker or trying to move grain while in the bin.

In 2010, grain bin entrapments hit an all-time high with 51 workers being engulfed and 26 dying. Younger males are the largest group of victims.

According to an NPR investigation, about 180 people have died since 1984 from grain-related entrapments on federally regulated sites.  However, most deaths occur on small family farms that are not regulated by the government.

Ohio State students from the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering decided to address this hazard by designing a trailer, The Grain C.A.R.T., to assist with grain bin entrapment training.

The Grain C.A.R.T. (Comprehensive Agricultural Rescue Trailer) is a 40-foot flatbed trailer equipped with a fully functional grain bin, grain leg and gravity flow grain wagon.

The C.A.R.T. is part of a training program designed to assist the Ohio Fire Academy with real world scenarios for grain bin entrapments and help OSU Extension with education and outreach.

“To have a mobile training unit is much better than what we’ve had in the past,” said Dee Jepsen, OSU Extension state agricultural and safety health specialist, in a Marietta Times article. “We can just pull it in, conduct training for a weekend or even a day, then move it out and be done. It’s quite a project and we are so excited about it.”

The training program has set up at county fairs across the state where people can witness live demonstrations of people being rescued from grain bins. Communities interested in using the Grain C.A.R.T. for training purposes can work directly with the Ohio Fire Academy to receive access.

To learn more about the Grain C.A.R.T. training program, click here.

What do you think of this new training program? How will programs like this enhance farming safety? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Photos courtesy of OSU Extension and the Marietta Times.