State group dedicated to grain bin safety

Jul 18, 2013

A state group dedicated to safe operations in grain bins wants to build a team of trainers to prevent tragedies like Wednesday’s death in Champaign County. An autopsy is scheduled Thursday on 55-year-old Roy McCarty of Sidney. Jeff Adkisson is with the Illinois Grain Handling Safety Coalition. He says there haven’t been many new developments in safety standards, but it’s key to make sure commercial grain operators and farmers are up to speed. Adkisson says he speaks from personal experience:

“When we’re young and we’re around this we think we’re big enough, strong enough, fast enough. After we’ve done it for 20 years, we look at it with the mindset of, ‘I’ve done this a million times before this way, and I’ve never had an incident.’ It’s that next time, that first time after a million, where you have that problem.”

Safety measures recommended for the grain bins include harnesses and ensuring that all equipment is turned off when entering a bin. Yesterday’s incident in Sidney is believed to be Illinois’ first grain bin death this year.  Two young boys died in a grain bin in Mount Carroll, Illinois in 2011.