Initiated by Nationwide in 2014, Grain Bin Safety Week is an annual campaign recurring the third full week of February to promote grain bin safety on farms and commercial grain-handling facilities.
A collaborative effort with industry leaders and agricultural professionals, Grain Bin Safety Week was created to raise awareness about grain bin dangers, provide education and share best safety practices. Together, we hope to reduce the number of preventable injuries and deaths associated with grain handling and storage.
Injuries and fatalities: the startling facts
- Suffocation from engulfment or oxygen-deficient atmospheres is the leading cause of death in grain accidents.
- In four seconds, an adult can sink knee-deep in flowing grain and be rendered unable to free themselves without help.
- Nearly 400 grain entrapments have been recorded in the past 10 years. It’s estimated an additional 30% of cases go unreported.
- In 2019, there were 38 grain entrapment cases — a 27% increase over 2018 and a four-year high.
- Grain entrapment deaths spiked in late 2019 and early 2020 as a result of wet harvest conditions — a United Press International report showed there were 19 deaths from August 2019 to mid-January 2020 alone, more than all of 2018.
- Historically, 70% of grain entrapments have occurred on farms vs. commercial facilities.
- Many of these farming accidents involve young people who often lack a good understanding of the potential dangers and proper safety procedures.
Nominate your fire department for a grain bin rescue tube
Grain Bin Safety Week also promotes awareness of life-saving grain extraction methods and procedures that help first responders rescue farmers and other workers who've been trapped in grain bins or other storage facilities. Beginning January 1 and running through April 30, the annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest enables communities to nominate their local fire department to win a grain rescue tube. In addition to the rescue tube, winners also receive specialized rescue training. In 2018, Dan Neenan, director of the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS), visited the Des Moines campus with his state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulator. It’s used to conduct rescue tube training. Since 2014, the contest has received over 5,000 nominations, 207 fire departments across 31 states have been awarded grain rescue tubes.
Making donations is easy
To make a donation, visit necasag.org/gbsw or contact Risk Management Desk at 800-260-1356.
Get the latest news release
View our news release to learn more about Grain Bin Safety Week and share it with others.
Grain Bin Safety Week proclamations
Annually, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signs an official state proclamation in February recognizing Grain Bin Safety Week to be observed the third week of the month.
About Nationwide Agribusiness
Our history began in 1909 when a group of determined Iowa farmers and grain elevator owners joined together to create an insurance company that would provide an alternative source of dependable, affordable insurance to protect against their losses.
While staying close to our roots, we’ve spread across the country and operate in 48 states. We’ve also grown our product offerings to keep pace with the evolving agribusiness industry.
Today, Nationwide is the #1 farm insurer in the U.S. and a leader in insurance and risk management solutions for commercial agribusinesses along the food, fiber and fuel chains.
While agriculture and its related businesses have radically changed over the past century, our commitment has not. We remain dedicated to the business and the people who are our American agriculture, and we pledge to continue our tradition of service, safety and integrity — just as we did more than 100 years ago.
Agribusiness Risk Management Services
1100 Locust St
Des Moines, IA 50391