Gov. Walz proclaims Grain Bin Safety Week in Minnesota

Gov. Tim Walz is calling attention to grain bin accidents after 10 Minnesotans have died as a result of them since June.

This week will be Grain Bin Safety Week across Minnesota.

Grain bin accidents occur in and around storage bins and can result in entrapment or suffocation. It takes just a few seconds for people to become engulfed in the grain.

Recently, cases have been reported in Stearns County, Belle Plaine, McLeod County and Barron County, Wis

Purdue University said 307 grain entrapment cases were reported between 2007 and 2015.

“I grieve with the Minnesota families who have lost loved ones in these terrible accidents,” said Walz. “Farming is one of the most dangerous professions in the United States, but through awareness and education, we can work together to decrease the number of preventable accidents, injuries, and deaths.”

In the declaration, Walz acknowledged the significance of grain production, handling and transportation in the state of Minnesota.

The Governor’s office said advances in training and additional public awareness helped the accidents decline until 2014. That year, however, 38 entrapments and 17 deaths occurred.

In 2018, 61 grain bin accidents occurred that resulted in injury, death or required emergency extraction. 2018 saw a 13 percent increase over 2017.

“Through education and awareness of hazards and safe work practices and procedures, we hope to reduce the number of preventable injuries and deaths associated with grain handling and storage,” Walz proclaimed.