Grain bin tragedy reminds us of the importance of farmer safety

KCCI President and General Manager Brian Sather is the son of a farmer. Sather’s father and grandfather farmed. Now, his brother works the land.Growing up in a farm family, further learned that farming is hard work. It is also dangerous work. We learned this again recently as a Williamsburg man was killed after being entrapped in corn in a grain bin.According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, farming is among the nation’s most dangerous occupations. Grain bin fatalities and accidents are more common than you may realize. In 2020, there were 35 grain bin rescue attempts. Twenty of these resulted in a fatality. Grain bin rescues take specialized equipment and training. Not every rural Iowa fire department has those skills or resources. And that exacerbates the danger.Sather has worked in grain bins like these. Working with shifting grain in these settings is a sobering experience. This is yet another reason for us to honor the hard-working farmers who courageously go about this work every day. It’s also a reminder to our farmers to establish safety protocols and procedures around your bins, augers, chemicals and machinery.Let your co-workers or family know where you are. And for our rural fire departments, we encourage you to work on providing the training and tools your teams need to help in case of emergency. We recognize your fire department is likely volunteer-based with limited resources. But our farmers need to know they can count on the paramedics who arrive on the scene to be able to help them if they need it.Farmers as you make plans to begin spring planting, our thoughts are with you. Thank you for all you do for us. Stay safe. We appreciate you.

KCCI President and General Manager Brian Sather is the son of a farmer. Sather’s father and grandfather farmed. Now, his brother works the land.

Growing up in a farm family, further learned that farming is hard work. It is also dangerous work. We learned this again recently as a Williamsburg man was killed after being entrapped in corn in a grain bin.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, farming is among the nation’s most dangerous occupations. Grain bin fatalities and accidents are more common than you may realize.

In 2020, there were 35 grain bin rescue attempts. Twenty of these resulted in a fatality. Grain bin rescues take specialized equipment and training. Not every rural Iowa fire department has those skills or resources. And that exacerbates the danger.

Sather has worked in grain bins like these. Working with shifting grain in these settings is a sobering experience. This is yet another reason for us to honor the hard-working farmers who courageously go about this work every day. It’s also a reminder to our farmers to establish safety protocols and procedures around your bins, augers, chemicals and machinery.

Let your co-workers or family know where you are. And for our rural fire departments, we encourage you to work on providing the training and tools your teams need to help in case of emergency. We recognize your fire department is likely volunteer-based with limited resources. But our farmers need to know they can count on the paramedics who arrive on the scene to be able to help them if they need it.

Farmers as you make plans to begin spring planting, our thoughts are with you. Thank you for all you do for us. Stay safe. We appreciate you.

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