Grain Bin Safety Week urges awareness about dangers of grain storage

Did you know in 2019, grain bin entrapments were up by 26.7 percent over 2018, and of those entrapments 58.2 percent were fatal? February 21 – February 27 is Grain Bin Safety Week. It is a week supported by industry leaders and agricultural professionals to bring awareness to the dangers grain bins impose. It is designed to help educate farmers, ranchers, and the general public on the best practices when working on, in, and around grain bins to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities.

Although grain bins do not pose as much of a threat to our Montana agriculture community as they do in the Midwest, we can never be too careful. Follow the guidelines below whenever working with grain bins and be sure to share them with your family, friends, and colleagues. Together, we can prevent grain bin accidents.

  • Only allow authorized employees inside of grain bins
  • Always have standby personnel available when working in grain bins
  • Respirators or masks are recommended when working inside or around grain bins
  • Always check for toxic gases prior to entering a grain bin
  • Always use a harness and lifeline when walking on or above stored grain
  • Utilize a long pole to break-up stored grain
  • Develop an emergency plan in case of an accident
  • Enter a grain bin only when all equipment has been shut off and all employees are made aware
  • Use a tag-out/lock-out system to prevent equipment from accidentally being turned on
  • Ladders inside grain bins should be marked with bright colors to help locate when inside
  • When inside, stay near the outer wall. If grain starts to flow, keep walking and get to the nearest ladder as quickly as possible
70 percent of grain bin entrapments have occurred on farms versus commercial facilities. Likely, rural fire departments are the first to respond however, many of these departments lack the necessary training and equipment to successfully rescue an entrapped individual. By visiting you can nominate your local fire department to win one grain bin rescue tube, valued between $3,000 and $5,000 and one six-hour grain entrapment rescue training session at your location, valued up to $5,000.
For more information about Grain Bin Safety and Grain Bin Safety Week visit or contact Austin Grazier with the Montana Agriculture Safety Program at (406) 587-3153 or