Clemson Agricultural Safety

Safety Information – October 2021

The objective is to provide basic information on grain safety and safety related to entrapment and engulfment in grain.

Entrapment: When a person has sunk low enough into the grain, they cannot escape the grain without assistance from another person.
Engulfment: When a person has sunk low enough, their head is below the grain.

Flowing Grain: Moving grain acts like quicksand and moves in a conical motion when being removed from bins. This can result in a person becoming trapped quickly.

Grain Bridging: When grain becomes wet or moist, it begins to mold and form a crust on the surface. When grain is removed, a cavity will form beneath the crusted grain. Sometimes, workers may enter a bin with a grain bridge, and the grain will collapse, resulting in the worker being engulfed in grain.

Grain Wall Collapse: Grain walls form when wet grain molds and sticks together on the grain bin walls. If a worker enters the bin to knock down a grain wall, the grain may fall on the worker, resulting in engulfment.

Target Zero Entry: Avoid having to enter a grain bin at all costs.
Lockout/Tagout: Programs ensure all equipment associated with adding or removing grain from a bin is shut off and cannot be turned on while a person is in a bin.

Never Go in Alone: Always have at least three people present when entering a bin, the bin entrant, a bin attendant, and an outside communicator. This allows for eyes to be on the person entering the bin and communicating if an emergency does occur.
Harness and Anchor Points: Before entering a bin, ensure that all appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is present, including a harness with a lanyard. In an emergency, a harness may be the only factor preventing a person from sinking below the grain surface.

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